Germany is expected to head for long and arduous coalition talks to form a new government amid the latest election impasse, local broadcaster n-tv reported on Monday.
Early results published by the country's federal returning officer on Monday morning indicated that the Social Democratic Party (SPD) gained the largest share of the votes 25.7% compared to Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its sister party Christian Social Union (CSU) with 24.1% of the votes.
The main rivals for the chancellor's post – SPD’s Olaf Scholz and CDU-CSU’s Armin Laschet – quickly expressed their readiness to engage in negotiations with other parties in an effort to build a coalition government.
Scholz said his party will likely enter coalition talks with the environmentalist Green party and the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) that are widely seen as a potential kingmaker in the coalition negotiations.
"We will very quickly agree on the course of the talks with the other parties with whom we want to form a government," Scholz said in Berlin.
"We have the mandate of the voters to form a government," he added, saying his party will pursue "calm and discreet" negotiations with other potential coalition partners.
Meanwhile, Laschet, who as the CDU head is fighting for a political survival over his party's disastrous performance at the polls, said he is also aiming for coalition talks with the Greens and the FDP.
Laschet stressed any coalition talks with the FDP and Greens should be on "equal footing".
He added that Germany needs to be modernized and needs a “coalition for more sustainability”.
Laschet pointed out while his party shared the FDP's concern for economic growth, it also supported Greens' commitment to change to a climate-neutral industrialized country.
In other related news, FDP leader Christian Lindner announced on Monday in Berlin that he will start exploratory talks with the Greens on forming a government coalition.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.