Thursday, June 29, 2017
Chancellor Merkel has a good chance of staying in power, but possibly with different coalition partners
- No party would be willing to enter a coalition with the far-right populist Alternative for Germany (AfD).
- A continuation of the CDU-SPD grand coalition could fuel perceptions of a lack of political competition and increase support for the AfD.
- Any coalition not involving the Left Party would support closer EU defence cooperation.
The Social Democrats’ (SPD) revival under Martin Schulz at the beginning of 2017 has been short-lived and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) appears in a strong position to win the general election in September.
The composition of the new government is less certain: Merkel’s strategy of shifting the CDU towards the centre has raised the possibility of a coalition with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens -- unprecedented at the national level.
Her decision this week to soften her opposition to same-sex marriage after both the Greens and the FDP set it as a condition for a coalition may be another signal towards the smaller parties.
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