The members of Germany's left-leaning Social Democratic Party (SPD) have voted in favor of a new grand coalition under Christian Democrat (CDU) Chancellor Angela Merkel, the SPD announced from its Berlin headquarters on March 4 after a postal ballot.
The vote by 460,000 rank-and-file members ends about five months of political deadlock in the European Union's most-populous country.
Sixty-six percent of the Social Democratic Party's rank and file backed a new partnership with Merkel's conservatives.
The decision clears the last major hurdle to the formation of a new government and a fourth term for Merkel.
Merkel congratulated the Social Democrats (SPD) on a "clear result" on Twitter.
"I congratulate the SPD on this clear result and look forward to continuing to work together for the good of our country," Merkel wrote on March 4 on her Christian Democrats' (CDU) Twitter feed.
Parliament is expected to meet next week to elect Merkel as chancellor.