Forming German gov’t could take ‘until Jan’
BERLINForming a new German government could take until January, warned a senior member of the opposition Social Democrats (SPD), adding that her party, which will hold preliminary talks with Angela Merkel’s conservatives on Oct. 4, won’t be rushed.
The chancellor is searching for a new coalition partner, after falling just short of an absolute majority in an election on Sept. 22, but faces difficult and protracted negotiations with a cautious opposition.
“No one can say when we might get to the point where a government can be formed, it could be December or January,” SPD General Secretary Andrea Nahles told a news conference. “We won’t be rushed.” The center-left party agreed last week to put any decision to enter a grand coalition with Merkel to a poll of its members. Countering hopes that this could come before the SPD’s annual congress in mid-November, Nahles said it could take longer. If they did agree to enter another coalition government, the SPD would be expected to seek a high price in terms of policy compromises and ministerial posts, in a poker-like negotiating process that could take weeks or months.