Controversy over who will control Germany’s government has begun in the top four parties after the parliamentary elections.
The Social Democrats (SPD), led by Olaf Scholz, defeated outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) by 25.8% to 24.1%, giving the Conservative party its worst defeat ever.
But since no party has won enough votes to control the Bundestag – the lower house of parliament – they must work with third-place finishers, the Green Party, which received 14.8% of the vote, and fourth-place finishers, Prof. -Business Free Democrats (FDP), which received 11.5%.
The Greens and the FDP agreed to meet with each other on Tuesday before discussing it with the SPD or CDU. A photo was released to the media showing Green Party candidate Annalena Beerbock with FDP leader Christian Lindner.
While the two parties have some common ground, they traditionally belong to rival ideological camps and have different perspectives on issues including the economy and fighting climate change.
During a media briefing with reporters on Wednesday, both sides said they had held meetings with the SPD and CDU, as well as another meeting with each other.
But traditionally, the Greens have leaned more toward the left-centre politics of the SPD, and the FDP has been aligned with the more conservative CDU, and their leadership indicated Wednesday that may not have changed.
Asked which coalition his party preferred, FDP general secretary Volker Wissing said, “Our priority was based on content and since the content of the parties has not changed, the priority of course remains the same.”
In his own news conference, insisting that he was meeting with all parties, Green Party leader Barbock stated that since the SPD was the winner of the election, it was important to meet him first.
Green and FDP leaders said they held talks with the two first-place parties for this Saturday and Sunday, followed by discussions with their own party membership.
Some information for this report has been obtained from the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.