Monday, 28 September 2009

Merkel continues, but in a new coalition

The results from yesterday’s election to the German Federal Parliament show that Chancellor Angela Merkel will be able to remain in office, but with a new coalition partner. For the past four years her conservative Christian Democratic party CDU and its twin CSU have been in a so-called “grand coalition” with the Social Democrats SPD. While CDU/CSU did not do particularly well in the election, SPD ended up with its worst result since the foundation of the Federal Republic sixty years ago, losing 1/3 of its voters since 2005 – most of them to the break-away party the Left and some to the Greens.
The liberal right-wing Free Democrats (FDP), Merkel’s preferred coalition partner, did very well in the election, meaning that CDU/CSU is now able to form a coalition government with FDP. Such a coalition will undoubtedly take Germany to the right. The German election results and Labour’s expected defeat in the next British general election may also signify the end of the so-called “Third Way” experiment which Tony Blair in Britain and Gerhard Schröder in Germany led their Social Democratic parties into.
The photo shows the Parliament building in Berlin last autumn.

The Guardian reports:

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