Germans have elected a new parliament. But forming a government and selecting a new chancellor will take a while. Until then Angela Merkel will remain in office.
Negotiations to form a new government can take months, but the freshly elected Bundestag gets to work relatively quickly. In accordance with the German Constitution, it must convene no later than 30 days after the election — that’s by October 26 this year.
If the new Bundestag cannot immediately elect a chancellor during its first session, because the coalition negotiations have not yet been finalized, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will ask Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Cabinet to continue serving until the new government is chosen and sworn in.
There is no time limit for this phase. Angela Merkel could still be in office at Christmas. After December 17, 2021, she would then have surpassed Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s previous record of 5,869 days in office.