Germany's Free Democrats want Merkel coalition

21st September 2009, Comments 0 comments

Opinion polls suggest that Merkel will be able to ditch the SPD, her current partners in the unwieldy "grand coalition" and hold a majority in parliament with the FDP.

Berlin -- Chancellor Angela Merkel's preferred coalition partners after German elections on September 27, the pro-business Free Democrats, passed a motion on Sunday vowing they would only govern with her.

The motion, passed at a party congress a week before the election, said the FDP "wants to form a government" with Merkel's centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU).

It said that the electoral programmes of the other possible partners, the Social Democrats (SPD) and the ecological Greens, "would lead to greater burdens on citizens."

"We, as Free Democrats, are not prepared to forming a majority with red (the SPD) and Green," FDP chief Guido Westerwelle said at the party congress in Potsdam near Berlin.

Opinion polls suggest that Merkel will be able to ditch the SPD, her current partners in the unwieldy "grand coalition," and hold a majority in parliament with the FDP.

But the SPD's ratings have improved in recent days, and surveys suggest that a considerable number of voters are still undecided, raising the possibility of an upset.

If the CDU and the FDP fail to win enough votes, the CDU would most likely form another "grand coalition" with the SPD for another four years, commentators believe.

Other constellations are in theory possible, however, such as a coalition of the SPD, the FDP and the Greens, even though the FDP's new motion rules this out.

The Greens, meanwhile, have ruled out forming a government with the CDU and the FDP. The Greens' preferred partners are the SPD, with whom they governed between 1998 and 2005 with Gerhard Schroeder as chancellor.

Opinion polls indicate that the SPD and the Greens lack the necessary support, however, and both have ruled out working with the fifth main party in the German parliament, the far-left Die Linke.

"We will stick to our word," Westerwelle said. "You can count on us, we have proved it."

AFP/Expatica

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