German political parties say the new coalition government is ready to reach an agreement

Berlin (Associated Press)-Two potential partners said that the three parties that are negotiating to form the next German government will finalize and submit their alliance agreement on Wednesday. The deal paved the way for center-left leader Olaf Schultz to succeed Angela Merkel, who has long served as prime minister, in the coming weeks.

Since winning the national election by a narrow margin on September 26, the center-left Social Democratic Party has been negotiating with the environmentalist Green Party and the pro-business Liberal Democratic Party. The latter two parties said that the agreement will be submitted on Wednesday afternoon.

If party members sign and agree, this tripartite coalition, which has never been tried in the national government, will replace the current “major coalition” of the country’s traditional major parties. The Social Democratic Party is the junior partner of Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Party.

Merkel did not run for a fifth term and is expected to be replaced by the 63-year-old Schultz, who has served as finance minister and deputy prime minister since 2018.

The three potential ruling parties expressed their hope that Parliament will elect Scholz as prime minister within the week starting on December 6. Prior to this, the alliance agreement needs to be voted by members of the Green Party and approved by the other two congresses.

When news of the deal came, Merkel presided over what might be her last cabinet meeting. Schultz presented a bouquet of flowers to the 67-year-old man who has been leading Germany since 2005.

Compared with previous alliance negotiations, the tripartite alliance negotiations are relatively harmonious and rapid. But the political transition to Merkel as the guardian of the lame duck has hindered Germany’s response to the recent rise in coronavirus cases.

The closed-door talks did not reveal any details, including how the parties will divide ministerial positions. The coalition can be a disturbing mixture because it brings together two traditionally left-leaning parties and a Liberal Democrat that tends to ally with the center-right.

A preliminary agreement last month indicated that Germany will postpone the deadline for ending coal-fired power generation from 2038 to 2030, and at the same time expand the promotion of renewable energy power generation.

At the insistence of the Liberal Democrats, potential partners said they would not raise taxes or relax restrictions on debt increases, making financing a core issue.

Merkel’s Christian Democrats are currently focusing on a leadership battle over who will become their next leader and revive the party’s fate after the party suffers the worst election results in history.

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

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