Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party has won Germany’s election, but finished just short of an absolute majority, official results show, the BBC informs.
Mrs Merkel urged her party to celebrate “a super result” as she looked set for a historic third term. Her conservative bloc took about 41.5% of the vote – but her liberal partners failed to make it into parliament.
It is thought she is likely to seek a grand coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD) who won 26%. The results showed that the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) won only 4.8%, which correspondents say is a disaster for the junior coalition partner, leaving it with no national representation in parliament for the first time in Germany’s post-war history.
Party chairman Philipp Roesler called it “the bitterest, saddest hour of the Free Democratic Party”. The FDP was beaten by the Green Party (8.4%) and the former communist Left Party (8.6%). It almost finished behind the new Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD), which advocates withdrawal from the euro currency and took 4.7%, just short of the parliamentary threshold. There was at one point speculation that Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister CSU might even win enough seats for an absolute majority – the first in half a century.
Mrs Merkel earlier addressed jubilant supporters at CDU headquarters. After waiting for chants of “Angie, Angie” to die down, she told them: “This is a super result.”
“We can celebrate tonight because we have done something fantastic.” But, in a reference to coalition building, she said it was “too early to say exactly what we’ll do”. Correspondents say that the 59-year-old chancellor seemed to acknowledge the complexities of forming a government when she was asked on television if she planned to reach out to other parties.
Correspondents say that the result is nevertheless a ringing endorsement of her steady leadership during the euro zone crisis.
Mrs Merkel has made clear she would be prepared to work with the Social Democrats (SPD) in a grand coalition, as she did in 2005-09. The SPD has been more reluctant to consider linking up with the CDU/CSU again. The party leader, Peer Steinbrueck, was finance minister in the previous grand coalition, but has said he would not serve in such a government again.
After the exit polls were released, but before official results were confirmed, Mr Steinbrueck conceded that it would be up to Mrs Merkel to decide how to proceed saying: “The ball is in Mrs Merkel’s court. She has to get herself a majority.” The SPD would have preferred to enter a coalition with the Green Party, but does not appear to have the votes to do so, and has ruled out a three-way alliance including the Left Party (Die Linke).
Analysts think the SPD will probably agree to a coalition with the CDU/CSU.
Turnout, projected at about 72%, was higher than at the last federal election – which had the worst on record.
Traian Basescu congratulates Angela Merkel for victory
Romania’s President Traian Basescu sent on Sunday a congratulatory message to the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Angela Merkel, following the victory of the Christian Democratic Union in the general election, according to a press release of the Presidential administration remitted to Agerpres.
‘I wish to address to you my sincere congratulations for the victory of the Christian Democratic Union in the general legislative election. This success is a confirmation that the policies of your party have convinced the citizens of Germany that the direction you have adopted and pursued all these years is a successful one. I am confident that the principles that inspired your decisions will be a further guide in your work as Chancellor, for the good of Germany ‘, reads the message of Romania’s President addressed to the German Chancellor.
Traian Basescu expressed, in the context, his certainty that the very good relations between the two countries, ‘through the friendship connecting us and relations of cooperation that we have developed in recent years, will continue to be an argument for strengthening the partnership between Romania and Germany ‘.
‘Please receive, Madam Chancellor, the assurances of my special consideration and my full appreciation for the exceptional results you achieved in the high office entrusted to you by the German people’, the head of the Romanian state emphasized in his message to the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.