Merkel Fails To Form Government, Snap Election Likely

REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has failed to form her proposed government after a coalition partner pulled out of negotiations Sunday.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its sister party the Christian Social Union, the Green party and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) have not been able to agree on issues regarding immigration and the environment after two months of negotiations. FDP pulled out of talks Sunday after realizing the parties were too far apart to find common ground within the near future.

“It is better not to govern than to govern badly,” FDP leader Christian Lindner told reporters. “We don’t blame anyone for sticking to their principles. But we also do so ourselves. We were voted for to reverse the current trends, but we couldn’t reach an agreement.”

Merkel is now left with a number of undesirable alternatives less than two months after she won her fourth general election. She can either seek a minority government with the Greens or call a snap election. The third alternative of negotiating with Social Democrats seems unlikely since the parties drifted apart during the election campaign.

The chancellor apologized for the chaos, saying she thought the coalition was “on a path where we could have reached an agreement.” Merkel further stressed she would “do everything to ensure that this country comes out well through this difficult time.”

ZDF poll released Friday shows that 68 percent of Germans, and a majority from all the parties involved, want a snap election during the current circumstances.

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