Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz of the German SPD believes voters have given him a clear mandate to form a government. He is betting on a coalition with the Liberal FDP and the Greens environment party. The rival union of CDU/CSU is supposed to opposition after being punished by the voters, but it does not seem to be planning to do so at the moment.
According to preliminary results, Scholzs SPD received 25.7 percent of votes, while the conservative bloc of CDU/CSU stuck at 24.1 percent, an unprecedented bad result for those conservative sister parties. However, they have made it clear that they also want to try to form a government. That means that Germany can face a period of political uncertainty.
SPD and CDU/CSU have been in a coalition together in recent years, but do not seem to want to extend that collaboration for the time being. That means that the FDP (11.5 percent) and The Greens (14.8 percent) come into the picture as obvious coalition partners.
Scholz also said, who received applause and flowers at his partys headquarters in Berlin on Monday. “Voters have spoken clear language. They have made it clear who should form the next government,” he said. “They have strengthened three parties: the Social Democrats, Greens and FDP.”
“CDU and CSU have not only lost many votes, but also received a message from the citizens,” said the SPD foreman, who wants to succeed CDUer Angela Merkel as Chancellor. “They no longer have to sit in the government. They have to go into the opposition.”
It has yet to prove whether the FDP and the Greens want to join a government together. The two sides are ideologically far apart. FDP foreman Christian Lindner has suggested that the two smaller parties can consult each other first before engaging with the SPD or CDU/CSU.
The parties will informally consult each other over the next few days to see what coalitions are possible. If sufficient progress is made, formal negotiations can be initiated. They could drag on for months. The Scholz SPD has presented important decisions to members of the party in the past. That could be delayed as well.
Germans do not have to say goodbye to Chancellor Merkel in the meantime. It does not want a new term of office, but will remain on until a new government can be formed. If that lasts longer than until mid-December, it will also become the longest-serving Chancellor since World War II.