Tough Coalition Talks Underway in Germany
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Tough coalition talks have begun in Germany after the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) claimed a narrow victory in Sunday’s federal election. They defeated the conservative block of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel, who ruled Germany for 16 years.
Cabinet negotiations are a complicated, painful, lengthy process with the conservatives still believing they have a chance to govern. The victorious leftist SPD party leader, Olaf Scholz, claims voters don’t want the block of outgoing Chancellor Merkel in government.
Chancellor Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) suffered its worst-ever performance with Armin Laschet as its candidate.
That’s why SPD leader Scholtz prefers to govern with the Greens and liberals and says they have a public mandate to do so.
But his conservative rival hasn’t given up yet.
Norbert Röttgen, a CDU member and chair of the German parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, says his party shares similar views with the liberals and Greens on global challenges. “Who fill find a sufficient agreement in terms of political substance?” he wondered without awaiting the answer. “I think this is open. And there is explicit interest by the Green party, by the Liberal party, to talk about this topic,” he added.
TALKS WITH SPD
He says those talks include the SPD, “ten seats ahead of us,” and the CDU. “So we will see how far we can get on with this process.”
However, Röttgen doesn’t rule out his party will have to serve in the opposition. “Germany is a stable democracy,” he stressed. “After sixteen years of Angela Merkel as chancellor and the CDU as the leading party of a government, if their might occur a political change in government that is natural in a democracy. And it would prove the vitality of our democracy.”
Not everything went according to plan in Sunday’s vote. Troubles emerged, for instance, in Berlin, where voters also participated in state elections and a referendum on expropriating properties from housing giants.
According to state election official Petra Michaelis, there were long queues and reports of a lack of ballot papers in some polling stations.
“The election is democratic when all voters could use their right to cast their vote. And if it is the case that voters were hindered, then this is a grave mistake and a violation of voting rights,” she said.
It wasn’t expected that the reported irregularities would change the election outcome. Since the Second World War, no party has ever won enough seats in Germany to form a government on its own.
So, for now, different parties will be involved in talks on the next coalition of Europe’s largest economy.
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