News ID: 316682
Published: 0333 GMT September 27, 2021

German Social Democrats beat conservatives in vote to decide Merkel successor

German Social Democrats beat conservatives in vote to decide Merkel successor

Olaf Scholz, leader of Germany's SPD party, waves during the election at Willy Brandt House in Berlin, Germany, on September 26, 2021.

Germany’s Social Democrats narrowly won Sunday’s national election, projected results showed, and claimed a "clear mandate" to lead a government for the first time since 2005 and to end 16 years of conservative-led rule under Angela Merkel.

The center-left Social Democrats (SPD) were on track for 26.0% of the vote, ahead of 24.5% for Merkel's CDU/CSU conservative bloc, projections for broadcaster ZDF showed, but both groups believed they could lead the next government, according to Reuters.

With neither major bloc commanding a majority, and both reluctant to repeat their awkward "grand coalition" of the past four years, the most likely outcome is a three-way alliance led by either the Social Democrats or Merkel's conservatives.

A new coalition could take months, and will likely involve the smaller Greens and liberal Free Democrats (FDP).

“We are ahead in all the surveys now,” the Social Democrats’ chancellor candidate, Olaf Scholz, said in a round table discussion with other candidates after the vote.

“It is an encouraging message and a clear mandate to make sure that we get a good, pragmatic government for Germany,” he added after earlier addressing jubilant SPD supporters.

The SPD’s rise heralds a swing left for Germany and marks a remarkable comeback for the party, which has recovered some 10 points in support in just three months to improve on its 20.5% result in the 2017 national election.

Germany's CDU needs renewal after putting up its worst election showing since World War II, party chief Armin Laschet said Monday, as he admitted responsibility for the loss to the Social Democratic Party, according to AFP.

The CDU-CSU alliance "cannot be satisfied with this result," said Laschet, adding that "renewal is needed in all areas".

The Kremlin said Monday it hoped for "continuity" in Moscow's ties with Berlin, as Germany was bracing for a period of political uncertainty following a general election.

"Of course, we are counting on continuity in our bilateral relations," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, adding that Moscow was following the vote with "great attention".

France welcomed on Monday the outcome of Germany's national election as a victory for "stability and continuity" and urged the leaders of the parties likely to be in the next coalition to make early contact with the government in Paris, according to France 24.







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