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German parties aim to have new Chancellor in early December

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Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader and prospective German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

GERMANY: The three parties that hope to form Germany’s new Government said Thursday they aim to have the country’s next Chancellor in place in early December, but acknowledged that they face a complex task.

The center-left Social Democrats, environmentalist Greens and pro-business Free Democrats opened formal coalition talks following a preliminary deal last week, which set out their priorities but left many open questions. If the negotiations succeed, the new government will send outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Union bloc into opposition after 16 years at the helm. Her successor will be Olaf Scholz, who propelled the Social Democrats to a narrow election victory on September 26.

He is the Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister in the current government.

Twenty-two working groups will be tasked with working through the various policy issues by Nov. 10, after which top party officials would resolve remaining sticking points.

“We are very ambitious and want to have an agreement at the end of November that makes it possible for us to elect a chancellor for Germany and form a Government in the week of Dec. 6,” the Free Democrats’ general secretary, Volker Wissing, told reporters in Berlin. The Chancellor is elected by the Lower House of Parliament, or Bundestag.

German coalition talks are an elaborate affair, producing an agreement that sets out details of the government’s program for its four-year term.

They have tended to get longer over the years as the country’s political landscape has fragmented, meaning that elections rarely produce parliamentary majorities for traditional allies. – JAPAN TODAY


Saturday, October 23, 2021 – 01:00

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