World

Germany gets 1st state governor from communist-rooted party after lengthy negotiations

  • A man holds a poster which shows Bodo Ramelow during a demonstration against the election of first state governor from the party 'Die Linke' (The Left), Bodo Ramelow, in Thuringia in front of the parliament building in Erfurt, central Germany, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. The parliament of the eastern German state Thuringia will elect the new governor on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

    A man holds a poster which shows Bodo Ramelow during a demonstration against the election of first state governor from the party 'Die Linke' (The Left), Bodo Ramelow, in Thuringia in front of the parliament building in Erfurt, central Germany, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. The parliament of the eastern German state Thuringia will elect the new governor on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)  (The Associated Press)

  • Bodo Ramelow swears an oath after his election to the first state governor from the party 'Die Linke' (The Left) in a German state at the regional parliament Thuringia in Erfurt, Germany, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. Ramelow is now head of a three-party coalition with a single-seat majority. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

    Bodo Ramelow swears an oath after his election to the first state governor from the party 'Die Linke' (The Left) in a German state at the regional parliament Thuringia in Erfurt, Germany, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. Ramelow is now head of a three-party coalition with a single-seat majority. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)  (The Associated Press)

  • Bodo Ramelow, front right, accepts applause after his election to the first state governor from the party 'Die Linke' (The Left) in a German state at the regional parliament of Thuringia in Erfurt, Germany, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. Ramelow is now head of a three-party coalition with a single-seat majority. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

    Bodo Ramelow, front right, accepts applause after his election to the first state governor from the party 'Die Linke' (The Left) in a German state at the regional parliament of Thuringia in Erfurt, Germany, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. Ramelow is now head of a three-party coalition with a single-seat majority. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)  (The Associated Press)

Germany's first state governor from a party with communist roots has taken office, following lengthy coalition negotiations tinged by concerns over his party's past.

The eastern state of Thuringia's regional legislature elected the Left Party's Bodo Ramelow as governor Friday at the head of a three-party coalition with a single-seat majority. Ramelow's ascent follows an indecisive state election in September and ends a 24-year reign over the state by Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party.

Ramelow himself wasn't a communist but his party is descended partly from East Germany's communist rulers. President Joachim Gauck, a former East German pro-democracy activist, has signaled unease about it leading a state government.

A coalition agreement with two center-left parties sought to address those concerns by stating that East Germany was a country of "injustice."