German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union on Wednesday announced it had finalized an agreement with the center-left Social Democrats after months of political stalemate following the federal election last year.
Negotiations resulted in the split of key ministries and their equivalent cabinet positions between the two parties, and now just needs the approval of the grassroot membership of the Social Democrats, or SPD.
It’s not the first time Merkel’s party, the CDU/CSU, has entered into a coalition with the SPD, and many in the party believe that re-entering a coalition with the chancellor’s Christian conservatives would be damaging in the long term, reported the BBC.
The deal gives a basis for a “good and stable government”, Merkel said during a news conference on Wednesday, and if it were to be approved, it would end over four months of uncertainty that has existed since inconclusive elections in September.
Social Democrats have been encouraged by their leader Martin Schulz to accept the agreement as it “achieved a lot for people”, thanking Merkel’s conservatives for making what he described as tough compromises.
Mr. Schulz will step down as leader of the SPD and take the prominent post of foreign minister, with fellow party members taking five other ministries, including finance.
The results of the SPD vote will be known on Mar. 2 after a postal vote, with all 460,000 registered members having final say in the coalition decision.
Observers say that should the Social Democrats refuse to join in coalition with the CDU/CSU, then there would likely be new elections in Germany.
More details to follow. Image of Angela Merkel from The Liberty Conservative.