Germany's Colourful Array Of Potential Coalitions
Muhammad Irfan 1 month ago Thu 23rd September 2021 | 11:20 AM
Berlin, Sept 23 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 23rd Sep, 2021 ) :Germany is abuzz with talk of traffic lights, Jamaican flags and other nicknames that describe the hotchpotch of possible coalitions that could be formed after Sunday's election.
As the country goes to the polls in its first election for 16 years without Angela Merkel, surveys show the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) ahead on around 25 percent, with Merkel's CDU-CSU conservative alliance on around 22 percent.
But to govern alone in Germany, a party must have a majority of more than 50 percent.
As a result, whoever wins will need the support of at least one and probably two other parties to govern.
With the margin between the SPD and the CDU-CSU expected to be close on Sunday, both parties could separately begin discussions with smaller parties.
- Traffic light - One outcome could see the SPD heading a "traffic light" coalition, a grouping with the Greens -- currently polling at around 17 percent -- and the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), on around 11 percent.
The nickname comes from their party colours of red, green and yellow.
Lindner has said the FDP's two red lines would be no tax hikes and reverence for Germany's cherished debt brake, lifted during the pandemic -- two policies that could be hard to swallow for the SPD and the Greens.
- Red-green-red - The SPD could also potentially opt for a "red-green-red" coalition with the Greens and the hard-left Die Linke, polling on around 6 percent.
SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz has been under pressure to rule out working with Die Linke, which evolved out of the former East German communist party and has some controversial policies, including opposition to NATO.
- Jamaica - A coalition led by the CDU-CSU would be more palatable for the liberals, but the two parties will almost certainly need a third to make up the numbers.
- GroKo, again - Germany's last two governments have been formed of a coalition between the conservative CDU-CSU and the SPD, known as a "grand coalition" or GroKo in German, as these have traditionally been the country's two biggest parties.
Another grand coalition could technically be an option, albeit most likely with the SPD as the biggest party this time.
- Kenya or Germany - A grouping of the SPD, the CDU-CSU and the Greens could also be a possibility, known as a "Kenya" coalition, as the colours would match the black, red and green of that country's flag.
- Wild cards - If the SPD and the Greens both do slightly better than expected, there is a chance they could form a coalition alone -- which would certainly make things easier.
But whatever happens, there are likely to be many weeks of haggling, flirting and backstabbing.