Angela Dorothea Merkel is the Chancellor of Germany and Chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Merkel is the first female Chancellor of Germany. A physical chemist by professional background, Merkel entered politics in the wake of the Revolutions of 1989 and briefly served as the deputy spokesperson for Lothar de Maiziere's democratically elected East German government prior to the German reunification. Following reunification in 1990, she was elected to the Bundestag, where she has represented the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern since. She served as Federal Minister for Women and Youth 1991-1994 and as Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety 1994-1998 in Helmut Kohl's fourth and fifth cabinets. She was Secretary General of the CDU 1998_2000, and was elected chairperson in 2000. From 2002 to 2005, she was also chair of the CDU/CSU parliamentary coalition. After her election as Chancellor following the 2005 federal election, she led a grand coalition consisting of her own CDU party, its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the
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