Elections | Germany is entering a phase of uncertainty

(Berlin) Germany, a pole of stability in the Merkel era, is entering a much more unpredictable phase in which difficult negotiations to form the next government are in sight after the parliamentary elections: both Social Democrats, short-headed winners, as the Conservatives claim Guide.

Posted on Sep 26, 2021 at 7:36 am Updated at 11:35 pm

Isabelle LE PAGE Agence France-Presse

As of Monday morning, the leaderships of the various parties, which are expected to form a coalition, will meet in Berlin and will provide information on the alliances they are considering.

According to the first preliminary official results, which were published on the website of the election commission on Monday morning, the center-left party of the SPD and its leader Olaf Scholz received 25.7% of the vote, just ahead of the conservative CDU-CSU union Armin Laschet . which has a historically low value of 24.1%.

The Conservatives had never fallen below the 30% threshold. This is a major setback for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s camp, as she will withdraw from politics.

PHOTO MARTIN MEISSNER, RELATED PRESS

Armin Laschet spoke next to Merkel

In addition, everything remains to be done in the country. Because in Germany it is not the voters who elect the head of government directly, but the deputies when a majority has formed.

The latter is particularly difficult to shape this time because, due to a drop in votes, it has to bring together three parties that have not been seen since the 1950s.

“The poker game begins,” says the mirror. Because “after the vote, the essential questions remain open: Who will be Chancellor? Which coalition will rule the country in the future, ”he emphasizes.

For the Social Democrats it is clear: “It is certain that many citizens” voted for the SPD because “they want a change of government and also because they want the next Chancellor to be Olaf Scholz,” said the 63-year-old man.

The problem: His center-right rival does not want to sit on the opposition benches despite a “disappointing” result: “We will do everything we can to build a government led by the Union,” assured the CDU-CSU candidate.

” Before Christmas ”

In Germany, discussions about the formation of a new executive are the sole responsibility of the political parties.

After the last election in 2017, the current grand coalition could only be formed more than six months later, which led to political paralysis in Germany, especially on European issues.

However, both the SPD and the center-right have stated that they are aiming to graduate before Christmas. Will they succeed?

PHOTO WOLFGANG RATTAY, REUTERS

In the SPD headquarters in Berlin, the polls were started with bonfires.

“Germany will take over the presidency of the G7 in 2022,” recalled Laschet, and that is why “a new government must come very quickly”.

In the current configuration, several solutions are possible for a majority in the Bundestag.

This could ally the SPD with the Greens, who achieved third place in the poll with 14.8%, and the liberals of the FDP, a right-wing party, which collected 11.5%. Alternatively, the Conservatives could rule with the Greens and the FDP.

PHOTO JAN WOITAS, DPA VIA AP

Green leader Annalena Baerbock

A majority of voters are in favor of the first option, according to a Yougov poll published overnight from Sunday to Monday. And 43% of them believe that Olaf Scholz must become the next chancellor of Europe’s largest economy.

Kingmaker

So everything will depend on the goodwill of two small parties who were qualified as “kingmakers” by the daily Bild on Monday.

FDP leader Christian Lindner also considered it “desirable” on Sunday for his party and environmentalists to “discuss each other first” before they ally with the conservatives or the social democrats.

The coming weeks will be a practical test for Germany’s oldest party. Throughout the campaign, the Social Democrats put an end to their legendary left-center dispute in support of their leader, current Finance Minister Angela Merkel.

But how will he react when his new “hero Olaf” has to mourn half of his program in order to appease the liberal right? Asks the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Because the FDP will never accept a tax increase for the rich that the SPD and the Greens want.

And at the end of the day, according to the newspaper, the members of the SPD would be able to vote on forming a coalition. But in 2018 they preferred to appoint a duo of strangers from the party’s left wing.

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