Is it over for Germany’s Angela Merkel? Nein – not yet anyway

The electoral system in the German political system means that coalition governments are very common. The Social Democratic Party was in coalition with the Greens – the Red/Green coalition – from 1998-2005 and then, from 2005-2009, there was a ‘grand coalition’ between the Christian CDU/CSU and the SPD. Between 2009-2013, the CDU/CSU was in a coalition with the FDP. In the election of 2013, the FDP failed to win representation in the Bundestag, so Germany went back to a ‘grand coalition’.

Following the federal election of September 2017, the Social Democrats will not serve in a government, so the CDU/CSU will have to form a coalition with other smaller parties in order to secure a majority in the Bundestag. Negotiations have taken place over the past two months in an attempt – which has now failed – to form a “Jamaica alliance”, so-called because the colours of the three intended partners – the CDU/CSU, the FDP and the Greens – are the colours that make up the Jamaican flag.  Another general election in early 2018 is now possible.

As this short comment piece in today’s “Guardian” concludes:

“Yet even if there were to be new elections in spring next year it is possible that Merkel could run again. Seventeen years after she took charge of Germany’s conservative party, there are still no credible candidates for a coup at the top, nor candidates with her blessing that look ready to take over the helm. For now, the only party in Germany calling on Merkel to go is the far-right Alternative für Deutschland. The end of Merkel may be closer than it has ever been. But when it comes, it will still be because she has decided to jump, rather than because she was pushed.”

If you would like to understand more about the German political system, you can read my short guide.


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