Germany Election Result: Social Democrat Olaf Scholz likely to be next German Chancellor, coalition deal sealed

Angela Merkel had taken office in 2005, becoming the first female chancellor of Germany. Ever since she took office, she has been described as the de facto leader of the European Union, the most powerful woman and one of the world's most successful political leaders.

Created On: Sep 27, 2021 14:40 ISTModified On: Nov 24, 2021 18:01 IST
Olaf Scholz
Olaf Scholz

Germany Election Result 2021: Social Democrat Olaf Scholz is likely to be the next German chancellor after the leaders of three parties sealed a coalition deal. The pact if approved by the parties will pave way for a three-way coalition government comprising the Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and liberal Free Democrats (FDP).

The coalition government is likely to be formed in the beginning of December, marking an end to 16 years of conservative-led rule. Angela Merkel's conservative party narrowly lost to the Social Democrats in the 2021 German National Elections.

The Social Democrats claimed a clear mandate to lead the government for the first time since 2005, but they have not won the majority. The center-left party won 26 percent of the vote, ahead of 24.5 percent vote won by Merkel's CDU/CSU conservative bloc, as per the projected results revealed on September 26, 2021. Neither bloc won the majority and nor did they show any keenness to form a grand coalition like they did in the past four years. 

Coalition Pact

The SPD, Greens and FDP coalition pact brings to an end nearly five weeks of formal negotiations. The 3-way coalition is known as the traffic-light coalition, due to their respective colors of red, green and yellow. The parties worked behind the closed doors to reach to an agreement.

Angela Merkel will remain in a caretaker role till the new government takes office.  The change of government in Germany comes at a crucial time when relations between France and the US, Australia are strained over the new AUKUS pact. Germany is yet to respond to the situation. 

Next German Chancellor

Social Democrats' candidate, Olaf Scholz will be the next German Chancellor. Following the results, Scholz had said that his party would "do everything we can to ensure we're done by Christmas." His goal reportedly was to form a coalition with the Greens and Free Democrats. Olaf Scholz is currently serving as Germany's Finance Minister and Merkel's deputy in the grand coalition. 

Scholz was quoted saying during a round table discussion with other candidates after the vote that his party is ahead in all the surveys and it is an encouraging message and a clear mandate to make sure that they get a good, pragmatic government for Germany.

If Social Democrats' do manage to form the new government in Germany, the 63-year-old Scholz would become the fourth post-war SPD chancellor after Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt and Gerhard Schroeder.

Angela Merkel's retirement creates a huge vacuum?

The incumbent German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not run in the 2021 German national elections, marking the first time in the history of the Federal Republic that an incumbent did not run. She has decided to retire after serving as German Chancellor for 16 years. Her stepping down has left a huge vacuum in the heart of German politics.

Angela Merkel had taken office in 2005, becoming the first female chancellor of Germany. Ever since she took office, she has been described as the de facto leader of the European Union, the most powerful woman and one of the world's most successful political leaders.

She has stood large on the European stage since the time when George W. Bush was US president, Tony Blair was UK Prime Minister and Jacques Chirac was the French President. She has dealt with four US Presidents, five UK Prime Ministers, four French Presidents and seven Italian Prime Ministers during her 16-year rule. 

Who was CDU/CSU bloc's candidate?

Angela Merkel's CDU/CSU conservative bloc had fielded Armin Laschet as its top candidate, who has signaled that the bloc is not ready to give up yet. The 60-year-old said during the round table that "It hasn't always been the first-placed party that provided the chancellor." 

Laschet stated that he wants a government where every partner is involved and visible and not one where only the chancellor gets to shine.

Social Democratic Party's Helmut Waldemar Schmidt had served as the Chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982 in coalition with the Free Democrats even though his party had won fewer parliamentary seats than the conservative bloc.

Background

The Social Democratic Party's gain in 2021 German National Elections marks a major comeback for the party after the historic defeat in the 2017 National Elections. The SDP is one of the two major parties of contemporary Germany along with the Angela Merkel-led Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU). 

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