World Bulletin / News Desk
Christian Social Union (CSU) leader Horst Seehofer said the coalition talks should be concluded in 8 weeks time and the government should be sworn in before the year’s end.
“In any case, we should promptly complete the formation of the new coalition government before the year’s end,” Seehofer told Bild am Sonntag’s Sunday issue. “For that we have about 8 months for the negotiations for the coalition government,” he stressed. “We should be successful in that. Otherwise we would make ourselves laughable in the eyes of the whole world,” Seehofer said.
The CSU is the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and the CDU/CSU alliance won Sunday's election with 41.5 percent. The Social Democrats (SPD) came second with 25.7 percent of the vote.
CSU leader Seehofer expressed his preference for a “grand coalition” with the Social Democrats (SPD) but criticized the plans of the SPD leadership to hold a mini-referendum among its 470 thousand members.
An extraordinary mini party conference of the SPD agreed on Friday night to open exploratory talks with Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance on whether to form a grand coalition. Among the 200 delegates only 5 of them voted against. But according to the party conference decision, the preliminary agreement with the CDU/CSU has to be approved by the 470 thousand members of the SPD.
SPD leader Sigmer Gabriel wants this vote to take place before the party’s major conference set for November 14-16, the German press reported. SPD’s party conference conclusions underlined that the outcome of this vote would be binding for the party leaders.
Political observers expect long and difficult negotiations ahead of the formation of Germany’s next coalition government.
According to the constitution, the current cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel will continue to serve as a caretaker, up until the new coalition government is formed.