German Elections 2021: Brokering a new era

The German general elections on Sunday left the two dominant political parties — the central left social democratic (SPD), the conservative alliance of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and Christian Social Union (CSU) — just 1.6 percent points apart.

With neither major bloc forming a majority, and both remain reluctant to rehash their fantastic alliance of the past four years. The most probable result is a three-way alliance drove by either the Social democrats or Merkel’s conservatives.

The victor leads the game of German general elections

German elections 2021 | The Economist

The SPD will start negotiations to form the new government, a process that could require weeks or even months. After Merkel’s political race win in September 2017, it took over five months to form a government. Though the initial count gives the SPD a little lead over its rivals. The outcomes mark a huge improvement for the party that took 20.5% of the vote in the last elections in 2017.

Olaf Scholz – The 63-year-old lawmaker has served as vice-chancellor and German finance minister in Merkel’s coalition government since 2018. That earned him increased exposure as he explored Germany’s economic response to the pandemic.

He goes on to say; “Numerous citizens have put their crosses next to the SPD in light of the fact that they need a change in government and furthermore they need the chancellor of this nation to be called Olaf Scholz.”

Big setback for Merkel’s conservatives in German general elections

While there were no large victors in Sunday’s races, there was an unmistakable failure – Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) – which had their terrible showing ever. The party, which runs on a consolidated ticket with its Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), won 24.1% of the vote, as indicated by preliminary outcomes, down from almost 33% in the previous elections in 2017.

How world leaders reacted

US: “I will be darned. They’re solid.” US President Joe Biden said when asked about the results showing the SPD in the lead.

European Parliament President David Sassoli hailed the results; “Congratulations Olaf Scholz and SPD on your victory!”

Russia: “Of course, we count on continuity in our bilateral relations. Although the two countries have disagreements on some issues. But, we are united by an understanding that problems can and should be solved through dialogue.”

China: “We hope and expect that the new German government continues its pragmatic and balanced China policy.”

Also read: Can Macron lead the Post-Merkel era?

Climate is the kingmaker

Could a Green Party chancellor lead Germany? | Germany News | Al Jazeera

Environment strategy is one of the keys to forming a new German government. But with the two smaller parties vital to shaping a post-election majority alliance have completely different ways of thinking on how to arrive at Germany’s climate goals.

The Greens need to establish a climate ministry with the right to veto any other ministry’s decision. They want to guarantee that all government strategies are in accordance with the Paris environment agreement. The FDP has flagged that it would approve of a climate ministry, however, without the right to veto.

Hang on Merkel!

Merkel Has Failed to Close the Gender Gap in German Politics - Bloomberg

Despite achieving its worst-ever results in the general elections. The Union bloc said that it would connect with smaller parties to form a government. While Merkel stays on in a caretaker job until the confirmation of the next replacement.

During this troublesome interregnum, Germany might run without a coherent government. More like a held-over Merkel working as an interim chancellor with minimal powers. This could turn into a circumstance much similar to that of Italy and Belgium. They hold the record of 541 days for the longest time of any European country without any democratically elected government.

All these events leave the path open for French President Emmanuel Macron to take control over Germany’s situation as informal head of Europe in front of his own critical political election in France in the spring.

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