Merkel’s quest for a new coalition

German Chancellor Angela Merkel starts coalition talks with few options after election .

Aindrila Paul

Berlin, September 26th ,2017

Angela Merkel started talks on Monday to form a coalition government after securing a fourth term as a chancellor . Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) secured 33 percent , losing 8.5 points , it’s lowest performance since 1994.

Arguably Merkel’s decision to allow more than one million refugees  into Germany two years back could be the reason behind her party’s abysmal performance.The Social Democrats, Merkel’s coalition partner for most of her time in office, dropped about five points to 20.5%.A subdued Merkel, addressing the headquarters of her CDU party in Berlin, acknowledged the losses, called them disappointing . “We have considerable work ahead of us.” admitted Merkel.

Voters flocked to the anti-immigration Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) party, not only did they enter the Bundestag, the German parliament, but did it as the third biggest party, with a stunning 13.3 percent of the vote and 94 seats in the federal parliament.It is the first far-right party to enter Bundestag in six decades.Populist parties have successfully harnessed the broader fears and resentments of discontented voters across the EU, and are generally performing better in elections now than at any time since the second world war according to the Gurdian.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2017/sep/24/german-elections-exit-polls-merkel-set-to-form-new-coalition

The Hindu reported that Germans see the rise of AfD as a similar rejection of the status quo , as the votes for Brexit or  Donald Trump’s Presidential election last year. But Germany’s political centre held up better than Britain and the United States , since more voters have benefited from globalisation and rejected the country’s extremist past.

 

Merkel had said she wanted to keep her coalition options open and would soon start talks with Free Democrats(FDP) as well as Social Democratic Party (SPD). SPD leader Martin Schulz had clearly indicated earlier that his party plans to go into Opposition “to defend democracy against those who question it and attack it ”

 

With the SPD not willing to renew their coalition with CDU , Merkel has to now form a coalition between the CDU (black colour ),the Free Democrats/FDP (yellow colour ) and the Greens (green colour ) . This has come to be known as the Jamaican coalation ( whose flag is a mix of black , yellow , green ).

FDP  leader Christian Lindner has also underlined that changes will need to be made to ’s energy policy and eurozone fiscal policy.

Thomas de Maiziere, the CDU’s former Minister of the Interior, has also expressed his concerns about the viability of the proposed coalition.

“Will a coalition with the Greens as part of Jamaican coalition be possible? It will be difficult. We will carefully negotiate, it will be difficult. Refugees will be difficult with the Greens.” said Thomas de Maiziere ,CDU’s former Minister of the Interior.

 

 

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