West Germany: Changing of the Guard

Schmidt is out, Kohl is in, and an ambiguous new era beckons

Finally, the weeks of confusion and political conniving had come to an end. Bored though they were by a debate that had droned on for more than five hours, members of West Germany's parliament watched closely as Bundestag President Richard Stücklen rose to make a curt announcement: the opposition motion of no confidence in the minority government of Chancellor Helmut Schmidt had carried by a vote of 256 to 235, with four abstentions. While colleagues began congratulating Opposition Leader Helmut Kohl,...

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