Berlin (dpa) – After the general elections, the difficult struggle to form a government begins. According to the results of the count of all constituencies, the SPD has become the most powerful force and wants to appoint Olaf Scholz as the next chancellor.
In the morning, he reaffirmed the demand of the Social Democrats to form a government. The SPD had been tasked with forming the government – in the federal government and in regional elections in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Berlin, Scholz said at the Willy Brandt house in Berlin. The voters had strengthened three parties, he said in view of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP. This is a “visible mandate” for a government. The Union, on the other hand, must no longer govern. “You should no longer be in government,” said Scholz, “but join the opposition.”
Despite its historic defeat, the Union also claims to lead the government. Both are based on an alliance with the Greens and the FDP. The courtship for potential mates has already started.
First, the party committees will discuss the outcome of today’s election. The Union is looking for a strategy to save power after the electoral debacle. For their defeated candidate for chancellor, CDU leader Armin Laschet, political survival may depend on it. The parties want to analyze the results in front of the media after the deliberations. The new parliamentary group is already forming within the FDP.
Who forms the government?
SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil sees the task of forming a new government in his party. “We have to be very clear: the SPD is in first place. We won the elections, ”Klingbeil said in the morning in the ARD“ morning magazine ”. The Union is the “big loser” of election night. The SPD politician said that no government mandate was derived from the CDU and CSU outcome. The SPD will fight in the coming days for “Olaf Scholz to become Federal Chancellor”.
SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans also sees the result of the federal election as a clear signal of his party’s demand for government. “We live in a democracy. In a democracy, voters have a say on election day. And the parties must handle the results responsibly,” he said on Deutschlandfunk. “No one can be prevented to have conversations. ”But if you get“ second place by far, ”you have the opportunity to form a government,“ but you don’t have the moral right to do so, ”Walter-Borjans said.
Meanwhile, CDU Secretary General Paul Ziemiak defended the Union’s claim to lead a future federal government despite the losses. It is now a question of forming a “stable government”, declared Ziemiak also in the ARD “Morgenmagazin”. There are now “two options on the table”. The decisive question is to know which of the options could manage to offer a “real project for the future” and find majorities in parliament.
Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU), on the other hand, criticizes the Union’s behavior at federal level. The election result was an earthquake and showed a marked change in mood against the CDU, he told MDR Saxe. You have to admit it very clearly. Kretschmer said House Adenauer’s attitude in Berlin did not allow him to speak of a government mandate.
In the running for the Greens and the FDP
In mathematical terms, the only possible bipartite alliance is a new grand coalition, which neither the SPD nor the Union want. This is why it is likely that there will be a three-way alliance in the federal government for the first time since the 1950s. Laschet has already assured all of his partners that they should definitely be visible with their own positions in a government under him.
The chairman of the parliamentary group of the Greens, Anton Hofreiter, announced in the morning small group discussions with the FDP. “It will be spoken first in a very small circle between the FDP and the Greens,” he said in the ARD “Morgenmagazin”. “You’ll see: what the similarities are, but what does the other side need to make this work as well.” Green leader Robert Habeck also said that, like FDP leader Christian Lindner, he considered reasonable preliminary talks between their two parties with a view to the possible formation of a government. From his experience, it makes sense “for the parties that are initially the most distant (…) to see if they can handle it together,” Habeck told NDR Info on Monday.
Federal Director of the Greens Michael Kellner underlines his party’s preference for an alliance with the SPD. “We are now closer to an SPD than to the Union,” he said before a meeting of the Greens’ executive committee in Berlin. “Voters wanted Olaf Scholz, Armin Laschet has low values.” Nevertheless, we are ready to discuss “with all the democratic parties”.
FDP leader Christian Lindner had suggested on election night that the Liberals and Greens meet ahead of time to probe intersections and areas of contention between them first before explorations. His deputy Wolfgang Kubicki supported this in the newspapers of the media group Funke. Lindner would prefer to form a coalition with Laschet, the Greens with Scholz.
National political spokesperson for the FDP parliamentary group, Konstantin Kuhle, considers a Jamaican alliance of the Union, the Greens and the FDP to be more likely than an alliance led by the SPD. “Jamaica is more likely with yesterday than in the previous three weeks,” he said in the morning to the “morning magazine” ARD. It had previously become clear that the SPD would be “very clearly ahead”, but with the current performance of the CDU the two parties would be close, the FDP politician said.
CDU Vice-President Julia Klöckner is also clearly in favor of a Jamaican coalition made up of the Union, the FDP and the Greens. “A Jamaican coalition would be a future coalition, a bourgeois coalition,” she said Monday in Berlin before the deliberations of her party’s governing bodies on the outcome of the federal elections. “It is now a very stable government in Germany,” Klöckner stressed.
There are no formal rules for forming a government. Usually the loudest part invites speaking. But there were also elections in which the second strongest force formed a coalition. So there is nothing wrong with having exploratory talks everywhere.
Now officially: this is how it happened
According to the tally, the SPD improves to 25.7% (2017: 20.5%). The CDU / CSU drops to 24.1% (32.9%). The Greens climb with the candidate for chancellor Annalena Baerbock to 14.8% (8.9%). The FDP increases to 11.5% (10.7). The AfD, so far the third strongest force, holds 10.3% (12.6), but will be the strongest force in Thuringia and Saxony. The left slips 4.9 percent (9.2). However, since she is defending three of her last five direct terms, according to the basic term clause, she can still stay in the Bundestag depending on her second vote result.
The majority in the Bundestag will change considerably. The distribution of seats has not yet been announced and, according to the latest projections from the ARD and ZDF, could look like this: SPD 205 to 209 (2017: 153), CDU / CSU 194 to 196 (2017: 246), Greens 116 to 118 (67), FDP 91 to 93 (80), AfD 84 (94), Linke 39 to 40 (69). The turnout of 76.6 percent was at the level of the previous election (76.2).
Finish line: before Christmas
After a federal election, it usually takes one to three months for a new cabinet to be sworn in. By Christmas you were almost always done. With one exception: after the 2017 election, it took almost six months because explorations in Jamaica failed because of the FDP – in the end there was a grand coalition led by the Union. Scholz and Laschet both said she wanted to do it before Christmas.