The narrowness of the margins means that German elections are very close to the call at the moment and the next government – and the chancellor – is impossible to predict. A large number of postal ballots are also yet to be counted.
Whichever party comes to the fore, long coalition talks are expected before the government is formed.
But for SPD, coming out side by side with CDU counts as a significant advantage. The Left party had secured 20.5% of the vote in the country’s last general election in 2017.
SPD leader Olaf Scholz commented at his party’s headquarters, saying, “The voters have decided that the Social Democratic Party has benefited, and it is a great success.”
Scholz said voters want him to be the next chancellor. “Many citizens have placed their cross next to the SPD because they want a change of government and also because they want the next chancellor of this country to be called Olaf Scholz.”
The 63-year-old politician has served as deputy chancellor and German finance minister in Merkel’s grand coalition government since 2018, giving her increased visibility as she navigated Germany’s economic response to the pandemic.
“Pragmatism, optimism, unity is what we will show because that’s what matters, and I’m sure citizens will be happy about their decision post-election,” Scholz said.
The applause and cheers of enthusiastic party supporters interrupted him as he spoke.
“Now we’ll wait for the final result, but then we’ll get to work. Thank you!” Scholz said.
Robin Fugman, 20, an ardent Scholz supporter, told Granthshala he was pleased with the results so far.
“It’s a really surprising result, people believe in Olaf Scholz, people believe Armin Laschet can’t really lead this country,” he said. “So we really have a mandate to lead a new government – I hope we do. And first of all we’re going to celebrate because it’s a really amazing result.”
CDU leader: Party ‘cannot be satisfied’
In contrast, the mood had turned sour after the initial exit polls surfaced at the CDU headquarters. They suggest that the CDU, along with its sister party, the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, could see the worst result in the coalition’s history – with its share of the vote potentially exceeding 8% since 2017.
The party “cannot be satisfied with this result,” CDU leader Armin Lasquet told supporters, while the final result remained unclear.
“We can see that there can be a government with three parties,” he said, as he said the party would “do everything to try to form a coalition.”
Lasquet said the CDU “has got a mandate against the leftist government.”
The party had campaigned on a message of stability for the country after Merkel stepped down, seen as a stable pair over the past 16 years. But now it has come to be called the bitter night of loss.
“When we look at how we lost compared to the last election, it hurts us,” CDU general secretary Paul Zimiak told Granthshala in an interview at party headquarters.
“But it is also clear that after the numbers it is not yet clear who is next and exactly how,” he said.
“The question is, who can form a stable government, form a coalition for the future for this country? We have many issues to tackle – climate protection, innovation – but we also have to ensure stability and social security, Which I believe a coalition of CDU/CSU, Greens and FDP can do well, and that is what we will talk about in the next few days.”
The CDU’s Peter Altmeier, who is serving as federal minister for economic affairs and energy, told Granthshala that the election result was “by no means a resounding victory for the opposition parties” and that the CDU had “a lot of confidence”. Shown. Governance
Reflecting on the election, he said: “The clear message to all people around the world is that while democracy is fairly stable in Germany, this was not the day of extremist parties – not from the left, not from the right – it was from the center of our democracy. It was a day of traditional parties.”
Deborah Piraba, a 27-year-old law student and Young Christian Union Democrat, told Granthshala at CDU headquarters that the results were “disappointing” but nothing has been lost so far.
“We have to consider that we are coming out of 16 years with Angela Merkel, of whom I am a huge fan. I am already sad that she is leaving office,” he added. “We call her Muti (mother), she knew how to talk to people and had a connection with the people and she did a lot for Germany. It made her so special to compare her with other politicians. I will miss his sense of humour.”
Greens ‘wanted more’
Meanwhile, crowds gathered at the Green Party headquarters in Berlin as the first exit polls were read.
“We have led a campaign like we have never experienced before in this country – round the clock, from last night, to the last second,” Greens leader Annalena Barbock thanked party supporters.
Bairbock attributed the success of his party to young and new voters. “This momentum comes from market places, from so many [people] Those who have joined our party over the years have led this historic best result.”
But, Barbock said, the party “wanted more” and had failed to do better, in part because of the mistakes they made during the election campaign.
The AfD’s leading candidate for chancellor, Alice Weidel, put on a brave face after projected election results showed support for the far-right party, a 2.6% drop from 2017.
“We are in double figures, we are able to assert ourselves,” she said, according to Reuters. “The claim that we will walk out of Parliament after a complete failure of a legislative term and we are very happy.”
Analyst: ‘Tall order’ to bring parties together
The outgoing government continues as the caretaker government until it is replaced by a new government. Merkel, 67, will then stand down and the new chancellor will take over the reins.
Granthshala commentator Dominic Thomas said that even though the final result changed vote distribution, the basic fact was “after 16 years in power, about 76% of Germans have not voted”.
He added that neither the CDU nor the SPD would have a real opportunity to form an alliance.
“If it is the SPD that leads the way, then the only way forward is to talk to the three parties, which will most likely include the Greens and the FDP. And it is trying to bring them all together. ” he said.
Exit polls indicate movement towards the center and centre-left, he said, reflecting the concerns of a young electorate.
“It is clear that the momentum is moving towards issues that are related to social welfare, green politics,” Thomas said.
Negotiations to form a coalition government may take weeks or even months. It took more than five months for a government under Merkel to be formed after the September 2017 election.
Granthshala’s Friedrich Pleitzen, Salma Abdelaziz, Nadine Schmidt and Stephanie Halasz reported from Berlin and Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London. Granthshala’s Nina Avramova, Claudia Otto, Inki Kapeler, Sebastian Shukla and Aditi Sangal contributed to this report.
Credit : cnn.it