Merkel Clings On as Left-Wing Social Democratic Party Votes for ‘Grand Coalition’


BERLIN (AP) — Angela Merkel has welcomed the decision by members of Germany’s Social Democratic Party to support a coalition government with the long-time chancellor.

In a statement Sunday, Merkel said: “this is a good decision for the SPD and especially for our country.”

She added: “The new government has a lot of work ahead of it that needs to be started soon.”

The Social Democrats’ membership ballot backed a coalition deal with Merkel’s Union bloc by a two-thirds majority.

Merkel had to rely on her centre-left rivals’ support after failing to clinch a coalition agreement with two smaller parties last year.

Parliament is expected to elect her to a fourth term as Chancellor next week.


Members of Germany’s Social Democratic Party have voted in favour of joining a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc.

The decision clears the last major hurdle to the formation of a new government and a fourth term for Merkel.

Sunday’s announcement by the party’s leadership ends almost six months of uncertainty in German politics, the longest the country has been without a government in its post-war history.

The centre-left Social Democrats had furiously debated whether to extend the so-called grand coalition for another four years after suffering a slump in last year’s election. In the end, two-thirds of the party’s 464,000 members approved a coalition deal.

Parliament is expected to meet next week to elect Merkel as chancellor, confirming her position as one of Europe’s dominant politicians.

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