Germany’s centre-left contender to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor says she intends to forge a three-way coalition with the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party after Sunday’s extremely slim election results, which have left her social Putting the Democratic Party far ahead of the conservative Conservatives. alliance.
The Social Democrats’ candidate for chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said on Monday that Germans had voted to send Ms Merkel’s party to the opposition after ruling for 16 years.
“The voters have spoken very clearly. “They strengthened three parties – the Social Democrats, the Greens and the FDP – and so the citizens of this country have given a clear mandate: all three should form the next government.”
Election results were tight, with the Social Democrats (SPD) winning 25.7 percent of the vote and Ms Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its ally, the Christian Social Union (CSU), winning 24.1 percent. preliminary results.
But the CDU/CSU did not agree and said that they would also try to form the government.
The Greens took 14.8 percent and the FDP 11.5 percent, making them the two potential kingmakers who could determine the size of Germany’s next government.
Armin Lasquet, the CDU/CSU candidate for chancellor, told supporters that it was clear that without Ms. Merkel – she is retiring – it was going to be a difficult election campaign. However, he insisted that the CDU has got a clear mandate.
He changed his tune on Monday with a more modest approach, saying the election results did not give either party a clear mandate to form the next government. At the time, Mr Lashet was already being criticized by CDU supporters for the worst results in the party’s history.
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The CDU Premier of the State of Saxony, Michael Kreischmer, told radio station MDR that the election was an “earthquake” for the conservatives. Mr Kretschmer’s party lost several seats in Saxony to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AFD) Party, and he blamed the government’s strict pandemic measures for the result. He also suggested that Mr Lachette was not the right candidate for chancellor and called on the party to be “polite” and reconsider its course.
The criticism resonated with Mr Lachette, who said later on Monday that his party would need to “renew” itself. However, he said, “the voters who have elected us want us to take responsibility and govern,” adding that the CDU/CSU would also talk with the Greens and the FDP.
It will also be difficult for the SPD to form a new government. Throughout the campaign, the party was remarkably united behind the chancellor’s candidate, Mr Scholz, who has taken a centrist approach. However, the SPD includes many left-leaning camps. Two of the party’s leaders, Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans, suggested before the campaign that they would prefer a coalition of left-wing and very left-wing parties.
The morning after the election, Mr Walter-Borjans, who would be part of the team to find ways to form a new government, told local reporters he doubted the party could find any common ground with the business-friendly FDP.
“We have to talk about that then. What are the common goals really? Can we talk about that?” He told broadcaster ARD. He said he was critical of the FDP’s economic program, which he claimed focused on investments, but also tax cuts.
The party’s influential deputy leader, Kevin Kuenert, called the FDP’s financial plan “voodoo” and called on Mr Scholz to consult with party members before forming any coalition.
Such an alliance would have significant implications for Germany’s economy, said Kai Erzheimer, a professor of political science at the University of Mainz. This could force the country to focus on climate-related economic issues by using market-based programs instead of tax-heavy government solutions. “I really expect some serious reforms that will shift Germany’s economy towards a more modern model that is less dependent on industry,” he said.
Oliveiro Angeli, a professor of political science at the Technical University of Dresden, said the most likely outcome is that Mr Scholz would indeed have an alliance with the FDP and the Greens, but he would find it difficult to agree on some policies, so coalition talks would take some time. could.
Pro. Angeli said there are significant differences between the Social Democrats and the Greens and the Greens and the FDP. He said that the SPD wants to increase the minimum wage, which the FDP opposes. The Greens want to raise taxes on carbon dioxide emissions, while the FDP does not want any new taxes.
A positive result of the election, Prof. Angeli said the opposition party in parliament would not be the populist AfD, which has been happening for the past four years.
“We will have Christian Democrats in opposition, and they will have four years to renew themselves,” he said.
The remaining two options are long shots for Mr. Lashet and his party, Prof. Angeli said. He could try to form an alliance with the Greens and the FDP, but it is unlikely that the Greens would agree to do so. The second is to form a grand alliance with the SPD, but that too is unlikely.
“My guess is that he will have to resign because some of his supporters are also criticizing him now,” he said. “I mean, this is the worst result in the history of the party. So they don’t have a very good argument to maintain their position.”
With reports from Josh O’Kane and Reuters
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