Chancellor Angela Merkel became Chancellor of Germany – its first female Chancellor – in November 2005, at the helm of a coalition formed by her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
After the collapse of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), she joined the democratic movement and became its press secretary. Following the elections in the GDR in March 1990, Mrs. Merkel was named government spokeswoman. Since the first post-reunification election in December 1990, she has been a CDU member of the German Bundestag (parliament).
Mrs. Merkel was brought into cabinet by Helmut Kohl and held the portfolios for Women and Youth (1991-94) and Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety (1994-98). In the aftermath of Mr. Kohl’s defeat in the 1998 elections, she became CDU Secretary-General, and then party leader in 2000.
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