German CDU/CSU to Promptly Launch Talks With SPD on Gov't Formation

20:36 12/12/2017

The German Free Democratic Party (FDP) announced its withdrawal from the coalition talks with the CDU/CSU and the Greens in late November, with Merkel being unable to create a coalition and form a majority government.

Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) wants to launch negotiations with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) on the formation of a new government as soon as possible, Chancellor Angela Merkel has stated.

"We want to engage in negotiations and believe that they should be launched promptly and be held naturally and thoroughly. The focus should be made on what our country needs," Merkel said following a senior party leader meeting in Berlin.

Photo: Reuters 

According to Merkel, despite the fact that the CDU/CSU and the SPD have certain differences in their approaches, the two parties also have a considerable convergence of views.

The statement was made after the SPD Congress voted in favor of beginning the negotiations on forming a new government with the CDU/CSU alliance on December 9, even though the party earlier had refused to form the so-called Grand Coalition. 

The critical situation in forming a government is connected to the German Free Democratic Party's (FDP) decision to withdraw from the coalition talks with the CDU/CSU and the Greens in late November, with snap elections or a minority government being the remaining options for Merkel in the event the coalition talks fail.

In late September, a parliamentary election was held in Germany, during which none of the parties received the majority of votes required to form a government. The CDU/CSU alliance won the election with 33 percent of votes and secured 246 seats in the parliament, while the Social Democratic Party (SPD) came second with 20.5 percent of votes, which is equivalent to 153 seats in the Bundestag.