Germans unsure over nature of post-election coalition

German flag on human hands- Stock image

Most Germans — voters, politicians and media alike — play down or even ignore the existence of the far-right echo chamber in Germany and its Russian supporters.

Founded in February 2013 by a group of economists opposed to bailout packages for ailing eurozone members, the party has tacked to the right after narrowly failing to clear the 5% hurdle for parliamentary seats at the last election. For the seven years between 1998 and 2005, the centre-left party SDP formed a coalition with the Greens, forming the only post-war left wing coalition.

"Anybody who wants to stop the climate warming, who wants bring climate warming to a stop, must vote green", Katrin Göring-Eckardt, one of the Greens' two lead candidates told the gathering. German voters are not quick to change their leaders, and they value stability over novelty and frequent change.

Mrs Merkel seemed to win the only TV debate with Mr Schulz of the whole campaign, according to voters.

The poll of 1,383 voters, conducted from September 12 to September 14, also showed that 39 percent of those surveyed were still unsure how they would vote. The market-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) had 9 percent of the vote, followed by the Green party with 8 percent.

Barring a few boisterous protests, election campaigning has been a civilized, even tedious, affair, with chancellor Angela Merkel neatly neutralizing her opponents on the road to what now looks like a guaranteed fourth term. After a spell out of parliament over the past four years, the FDP is confident the political wilderness is over and that it might win 10 percent, if not more, of the vote.

If only it were as simple as that.

Merkel and Lindner might not be able to muster enough votes to form the next coalition.

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However, Greens coleader Cem Ozdemir sounded a skeptical note about a possible three-way Jamaica tie-up - a reference to the parties' colors: black (conservatives), yellow (FDP) and green (Greens). Just imagine the haggling involved about which party would get the all-important finance ministry and which one would get the foreign ministry. Not to mention the time it would take to draw up a coalition agreement.

The point is that these four parties, including the AfD, have fragmented the opposition.

Negotiations then begin on forming a coalition government-a coalition needs at least 45% of the vote to form a government-and the process can take weeks.

In order to remove the CDU from government, the SPD would need the support of far-left Die Linke party and the environmentalist Greens, an alliance with no precedent at the national level.

Support for its nearest rivals, the left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD), rose by 1 point to 23 percent.

Tapping SPD members to decide whether the party should enter a coalition would mark a "great democratic moment", Schulz is cited as saying in an interview in this week's Der Spiegel magazine.

Although Russian hackers are known to have stolen material from the German Parliament, Russia has not sought to make a significant impact on this election, perhaps because the Russians have long-term business interests and political links in the country that they dont want to disrupt, or perhaps because their attempt to use leaked material in the French election failed quite comprehensively. Part one of the waiting will have ended.

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