Negotiations have begun in Germany to form a new coalition government after Chancellor Angela Merkel received voters mandate to rule for another four years, while her ally, the Free Democrats,(FDP) lost all its parliament seats.
According to preliminary results on Monday, Merkel’s Christian Democrats(CDU) received about 42 percent of the vote, while the FDP was not able to gather the required five percent support to stay in parliament. Merkel is now trying to form a “grand coalition” with her rival, the Social Democratic Party(SPD), whose center - left policies are closest to her own center - right stances.
However, the secretary of the Social Democrats, Andrea Nahles, told a German network that " there is no automatism about forming a grand coalition. There ' s another option that ' s also possible. "
The leader of the Social Democrats, Peer Steinbrueck, had earlier said he would not serve as a minister under Merkel, but he plans to remain “on deck” in shaping the party’s future. In addition, the preliminary results showed that the newly-formed anti-euro party, Alternative for Germany, fell short of entering parliament as it's support came to just under the five-percent threshold. Meanwhile, the leader of the Free Democrats, Philipp Rosler, and his deputies have offered their resignations following the party’s failure to stay in parliament. The leadership of the Green Party has also said that it plans to offer to resign following disappointed results in the elections. Based on the preliminary results, Merkel’s CDU together with her sister party, the Christian Social Union, received 311 seats in the new parliament of 630 seats. The Social Democrats gained 192 seats and the Greens 63 seats. The Left Party (Die Linke) received 64 seats, making it the third largest party in Germany.