Berlin [Germany]: Germany’s centre-left Social Democratic party (SPD) has voted for formal coalition negotiations with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.
56 percent of the party’s delegates voted in favour of moving on to the second and final stage of coalition talks with Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), reported the Guardian.
At a special party congress in the western city of Bonn, 372 out of 642 party delegates backed SPD chief Martin Schulz.
“We are relieved, the result shows that we had to fight for this majority,” Schulz said.
Earlier this month, the two groupings agreed a blueprint for formal talks.
Schulz had previously ruled out entering into another “grand coalition” with Merkel after his party suffered its worst ever result in the federal elections in September.
Merkel has ruled with the SPD in two of her three terms in office, including in the last parliament from 2013-2017. A re-run of their partnership is not yet certain, according to the reports.
The move paves the way for negotiators to launch comprehensive negotiations this week. If the talks are triumphantly concluded, a new government could be in place by mid-March – nearly six months after September’s complicated polls. (ANI)