Schroeder comeback if coalition talks fail: analyst

2nd November 2005, Comments 0 comments

2 November 2005, BERLIN - Outgoing German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder could stage a comeback if Angela Merkel fails to forge a grand coalition by Christmas, a leading analyst said Wednesday.

2 November 2005

BERLIN - Outgoing German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder could stage a comeback if Angela Merkel fails to forge a grand coalition by Christmas, a leading analyst said Wednesday.

"Nothing can be ruled out," said Matthias Jung, head of the Forschungsgruppe Wahlen polling agency in comments to Berlin's Tageszeitung newspaper.

Jung said the political chaos triggered by the resignation Monday of Schroeder's Social Democratic Party (SPD) chairman Franz Muentefering meant choosing a chancellor candidate for new elections would be more vital than ever.

He said a Schroeder candidacy for the SPD would fit the elevated role of personalities and declining role of parties.

Schroeder is currently serving as caretaker chancellor and will remain in office until parliament elects a successor.

Media reports say Merkel's Christian Democrats alliance (CDU/CSU) has already tagged March 26 as a date for new elections if efforts to form a grand coalition fail. If this were to become reality, Schroeder would remain in office until election day, giving him an incumbent's advantage.

At present there is no broad support for new elections, said Jung.

"But if there is no government by Christmas - and no plausible explanation why - then the mood will tip in favour of new elections," he said.

Merkel is struggling to set up a grand coalition of her CDU/CSU alliance with Schroeder's SPD. The CDU/CSU narrowly defeated Schroeder's party in September 18 elections.

Efforts by Merkel to form a government were hit by the withdrawal of the designated CSU economic minister from her planned cabinet on Tuesday. Edmund Stoiber said would not serve in Berlin and instead remain Bavarian premier.

DPA

Subject: German news

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