BERLIN, Oct 6 (Reuters) – The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) moved a step closer on Wednesday to heading Germany’s next government, signing up the Greens and business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) for coalition talks following an inconclusive national election.
The SPD’s candidate for chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said the talks would begin on Thursday following what he called very constructive preliminary discussions. The electorate had given the three parties a mandate to form a government that they now needed to fulfil, he added.
The Sept. 26 federal ballot, in which no party won an overall majority and the SPD narrowly relegated outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives into second place, has kicked off a round of horse-trading.
Unlike many other European countries, where the president or monarch invites one party leader to try to form a government, in Germany it is up to the parties themselves to decide.
Both the SPD and the conservatives have courted the two smaller parties – which finished third and fourth – to try to secure power in a potentially drawn-out coalition-building process.
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