News ID: 204647
Published: 0323 GMT November 20, 2017

Germany’s dilemma: Coalition government or fresh elections

Germany’s dilemma: Coalition government or fresh elections

By Hossein Ziaee

Facts on the ground indicate that the formation of coalition governments has dealt substantial blows to Germany’s political clout.

When Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Party, their sister party, Christian Social Union (CSU), the Greens, and the market liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) began to create a framework for the so-called Jamaica government, almost no one could have ever imagined that their coalition would end in failure. 

Undoubtedly, Merkel is facing her biggest challenge in 12 years as chancellor.

The collapse of Sunday’s talks aimed at forming the coalition would lead to an unprecedented political crisis that could spell the end of the Merkel era.

The chancellor could form a minority government, for instance, with the Greens. But this would leave her having to patch together support for every vote.


Germany will now — in all probability — have to go back to the ballot box. But it’s not at all certain that leaders of the Christian Democratic Union will want Merkel to lead them into a fresh election.

The free-market liberal, FDP, pulled out after four weeks of talks with Merkel’s CDU/CSU bloc, adding to uncertainty over the formation of a coalition government.

This comes as the Social Democrats who have been the junior partners in a “grand coalition” government of Germany’s biggest parties since 2013, refused to join a fresh coalition with Merkel’s party. 

Now, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who has the power to call elections, may issue orders for dissolving parliament and holding repeat elections.

The parties involved in the talks are reported to be deeply divided over tax, asylum, and environmental policies. However, it is believed that differences over power-sharing was among the main obstacles to forming a coalition.

After the shock victory of Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party, which was elected as the third largest party in the German Bundestag, the failure of coalition talks is construed to be the second shock to the European nation’s political system.

Merkel, who for so many people has represented stability, is now fast becoming a symbol of crisis in the heart of Europe.

*Hossein Ziaee is an Iranian journalist in Germany.

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