SPD leader Schulz called for coalition talks after Germany’s election win

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called for talks between his centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) to form a progressive coalition in Berlin.

Sunday’s general election saw the SPD win five points on 25.7 percent of the vote, while its main rival, the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian ally, the Christian Social Union (CSU), slipped by nine points to 24.1 percent.

Schulz described the gains of the SPD and the two smaller parties – 14.8 per cent for the Greens and 11.5 per cent for the FDP – as a “visual mandate” from voters to govern Berlin.

“The CDU/CSU not only lost significant support, but also received a message from citizens that they should not be in the government but in the opposition,” he told reporters at the SPD headquarters.

A closed-door meeting of top CDU/CSU officials saw a heated debate over who to blame for the worst coalition outcome in its history — and the way forward after four terms in office.

CDU leader Armin Laschet faces his toughest post-election test Tuesday morning at the last meeting of the outgoing parliamentary party, CDU/CSU, including 94 lawmakers who lost their seats after his lackluster campaign.

CDU leader since January, Laschet – premier of North Rhine-Westphalia – had little time to gain political influence in the corridors of the Bundestag, and on Monday struggled to get his party’s steering committee behind his post-election strategy.

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