Germany’s Social Democrats register narrow win against Merkel’s Union Bloc


The center-left Social Democrats in Germany have taken a narrow lead over Angela Merkel’s center-right Union bloc on Sunday’s federal elections in the country. Both the parties have said that they would explore the formation of a coalition government with smaller parties such as the Green Party and the Free Democrats. The new Chancellor will lead the biggest economy in the European Union (EU).

Election officials, after an early count on Monday of all 299 constituencies, reported the following results:

Social Democrats—25.9 percent
Union bloc—24.1 percent
Green Party—14.8 percent
Free Democrats—11.5 percent
Alternative for Germany—10.3 percent.

Both the larger parties are looking to form a coalition with the Greens and the Free Democrats. Neither of them seem to consider Alternative for Germany as their far right agenda is ideological extremely difficult to work with.

Traditionally, the Greens tilt in favor of the Social Democrats while the Free Democrats favor the Union bloc due to similarities. However, Christian Lindner, the leader of the pro-business Free Democrats has already declared that his party and the Greens should make the first move. He thinks that they should speak to each other “to structure everything that follows.”

The electorate has not embraced Angela Merkel’s appointee Armin Laschet with a majority but he thinks that although they lost votes, they would do everything they could to form a government under the leadership of the Union. He said that the country needed a “coalition for the future” to “modernize” Germany.

Olaf Scholz, Social Democrat’s candidate for Chancellor as well as outgoing chancellor and finance minister said that the outcome of the voting was a “very clear mandate” as the party increased its vote share. He said that it indicated that they should put together “a good, pragmatic” government for the country.

Although the Social Democrats and the Union bloc jointly governed Germany under the Chancellorship of Angela Merkel, this time around it seems as if both the major parties are looking to rope in the smaller parties rather than forming a joint coalition, once again.

Source AP, NPR

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