Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) made history by electing its first ever female leader, but now the hard work must begin to reunite a party punished in the last election.
The move hailed as "great progress" by party grandees on Sunday, with 66 percent of SPD delegates voting in favor of Andrea Nahles. The former labor minister and head of the SPD's parliamentary group will take the helm of the party that is joining Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian alliance in a coalition government.
Martin Schulz, the departing leader of the SPD, told CNBC that Nahles was "tough enough" to gain the trust of SPD members who were more reluctant about her appointment. Meanwhile, the SPD's Deputy Chairman Ralf Stegner cheered the appointment.
"You can see in her speech (Sunday) that she has the experience, competence and the emotional power of a social democratic leader to stand for an SPD that you'll see as the leading party in European affairs, in terms of peace and progress in Europe, which will be a very important thing to do," he told CNBC's Annette Weisbach on Sunday.