Angela Merkel received official notification from German President Steinmeier her term as German Chancellor has expired.
Ms Merkel is now acting as an interim until her successor is elected.
Most likely, Olaf Scholz, leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, will become the new chancellor, RIA Novosti writes. His party won the September 26 elections with 25.7% of the vote. The conservative bloc CDU / Christian Social Union received 24.1%. Scholz plans to negotiate a coalition formation before Christmas.