The Social Democratic Party wins the majority of seats

The Social Democratic Party wins the majority of seats

Berlin (CNN) – The Social Democratic Party (SPD, left) Germany won the most seats in the country’s federal elections, preliminary results show, but it will be some time before the formation of the new government is known.

The Social Democrats scored a slim victory over the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the outgoing chancellor’s conservative centre-right party. Angela MerkelAccording to Der Bundeswahlleiter, the office responsible for overseeing federal elections.

Olaf Schultz at the Social Democratic Party headquarters.

The Der Bundeswahlleiter website said the Social Democratic Party received 25.7% of the vote, followed by the CDU/CSU bloc with 24.1%, and the Green Party with 14.8% of the vote, after counting 299 constituencies in Germany.

Elections put an end to 16 years from Merkel As chancellor, his successor will not be determined until a coalition agreement has been negotiated.

The SPD will now begin negotiations to form the new government, a process that could take weeks or even months. After Merkel won the September 2017 elections, it took more than five months to form a government.

Although the initial count gives the SPD a small advantage over its closest rival, the results are a huge improvement for the party, which received 20.5% of the vote in the last election of 2017.

During vote counting, party leader Olaf Scholz described the result as a “huge success”.

“Many citizens put their cross next to the SPD because they want there to be a change of government and also because they want to name the next chancellor for this country Olaf Schulz,” he said.

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The 63-year-old politician has served as German vice chancellor and finance minister in Merkel’s grand coalition government since 2018, earning him greater visibility as he toured Germany’s economic response to the pandemic.

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“Now we will wait for the final result, but then we will get to work. Thank you!” said Schultz.

He was interrupted by loud applause and cheers from party supporters as he spoke.

Robin Fogman, 20, an ardent Schulz supporter, told CNN he was pleased with the results.

“It’s really a great result, people believe in Olaf Schultz, people think Armin Laschet can’t really lead this country,” he said. “So we really have a mandate to lead a new government, I hope we do. And above all, we’re going to celebrate because this is a really great result.”

CDU leader: The party ‘cannot be happy’

In the early hours of the night, the atmosphere at the CDU headquarters worsened when the first opinion polls came in. This indicates that the CDU, along with its sister party, the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, were experiencing the worst result in the history of the alliance.

Armin Laschet

“The party cannot be satisfied with this outcome,” CDU leader Armin Laschet told his supporters, although he noted that the final outcome was not clear.

“We can expect that there can be a three-party government,” he said. He added that the party “will do everything in its power to try to build an alliance.”

Laschet added that the CDU got a “mandate against a left-wing government”.

The party campaigned with a message of stability for the country after Merkel, who has been seen as a steadfast pair of hands for nearly 16 years, said she would not take part in the election. But now she appears to be coping with what she described as a bitter night of loss.

“When we see how we lost compared to the last election, it’s bittersweet for us,” CDU general secretary Paul Zimyak told CNN in an interview at party headquarters.

“But it is also clear that after the numbers there is still no clear view of who is progressing and how exactly,” he said.

“The question is, who can put together a stable government, and form a coalition for the future, for this country? We have many problems to address (climate protection, innovation), but we also have to ensure stability and social security, which I think is a coalition of CDU/CSU. The Greens and the FDP could do well, and that’s what we’ll talk about in the next few days.

CDU’s Peter Altmaier, who served as the federal minister of economic affairs and energy, told CNN that the election result was “in no way a landslide victory for the opposition parties” and showed “a great deal of confidence”. .

Speaking about the elections, he added: “The clear message to all people around the world is that democracy in Germany is quite stable, and this was not the day of the extremist parties, neither of the left nor the right, but rather the day. The traditional parties are at the center of our democracy.”

Deborah Beraba, a 27-year-old law student and member of the CDU youth movement, told CNN at the CDU headquarters that the results were “disappointing.”

“We have to keep in mind that we’ve been dating Angela Merkel for 16 years and I’m a big fan of her. I’m sad that she is leaving office,” he said. “We called her Mutti (her mum), she knew how to talk to people and had a relationship with people and she did a lot for Germany. This made her so special compared to other politicians. I will also miss her sense of humor.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel received applause from leading members of the Christian Democratic Union on Sunday.

Greens wanted more

Meanwhile, the crowd at the Green Party headquarters in Berlin cheered upon reading the first opinion polls.

After that, the party’s preliminary results gave 14.8% of the vote.

“We led a campaign we had never seen before in this country, 24 hours a day, until last night, the last second,” said Annalena Barbock, leader of Los Verdes, as she thanked party supporters.

Environmental and economic concerns emerged as major themes of the campaign, fueled by the first of the deadly floods that devastated parts of Germany this summer.

Barbock attributed his party’s success to new and young voters. “This drives the markets, a lot [gente] Whoever joined our party in recent years has led to this best result ever.”

But Birbock added that the party “wanted more” and failed to do a better job in part because of the mistakes it made during the season.

Alice Weidel, the AfD’s chief adviser, made a brave face after the expected election results showed support for the far-right party fell 2.6% since 2017.

“We are in the dozens and we were able to assert ourselves,” Reuters quoted him as saying. He added, “This claim that we will withdraw from Parliament after the failure of the legislative term completely and we are very, very happy.”

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Analyst: “strict system” to bring the parties together

The outgoing government remains in office as a proxy government until it is replaced by a new government. Merkel, 67, will retire and the new chancellor will take over.

Even if the final result changes the distribution of votes, the key fact is that “after 16 years in power, nearly 76% of Germans have not voted” for Merkel’s party, said CNN commentator Dominic Thomas.

He added that neither the CDU nor the Social Democratic Party would have a real chance to form a coalition.

“If the SPD is leading the way, the only way forward is to talk to three parties that are likely to include the Greens and the FDP. It is a very difficult task trying to bring them all together,” he said. .

He added that opinion polls indicate a move toward the center and the center left, reflecting the concerns of younger voters.

“It is clear that the momentum is moving more towards issues of social welfare and green policy,” Thomas said.

Written by Friedrich Blitgen, Salma Abdel Aziz, Nadine Schmidt and Stephanie Halas from Berlin and Laura Smith Spark from London. Nina Avramova, Claudia Otto, Enk Cappeler, Sebastian Shukla and Aditi Sangal contributed to this report.

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