New Straits Times
Coalition vote paves way for Merkel’s fourth term
BERLIN: Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) voted decisively for another coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives yesterday, clearing the way for a new government in Europe’s largest economy and ending months of political uncertainty.
Two thirds of the membership voted “yes” to the deal, a party official said, a wider margin than many had expected. This means Merkel could be sworn in for a fourth term by the middle of this month, in a re- peat of the grand coalition that has governed since 2013.
Challenges are piling up for Merkel, who has been acting chancellor for more than five months since an inconclusive election, with Europe looking to its largest country for leadership on economic and security issues.
Addressing party activists lining the balconies around the atrium of the party’s headquarters here yesterday, acting SPD leader Olaf Scholz said: “We now have clarity: SPD will join the next German government.”
Merkel took to her party’s Twitter feed to congratulate SPD.
“I look forward to working with SPD again for the good of our country.”
European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici congratulated SPD for its “responsible and decisive vote” on Twitter and said Germany was “ready to engage for a stronger Europe”.