By Hanif Ghaffari

German government's hard path after the election

September 25, 2017

Germany's general election was held yesterday. According to polls, Angela Merkel and the coalition of Christian parties have won the election. However, the Social Democrats, as Merkel's main rivals, were eyeing the voices of German citizens at the last minute.

The results of the German general election have not yet been officially announced, but it looks like victory is waiting for Angela Merkel. But this victory may not lead to a homogeneous government formed by the German Chancellor. Under such circumstances Merkel and the coalition of Christian parties must enter into negotiations to form a government with opposition parties. This means forming a coalition government in Germany. Many German citizens are not satisfied with the current coalition government in Germany. The main question here is whether the Social Democrats may once again impose themselves on Merkel's coalition government?

In recent months, there has been a great deal of disagreement between the coalition of Christian parties and the Social-Democratic Party. These differences also appeared within the coalition government. Merkel's positions on asylum seekers, on the one hand, and his reluctance against the trump presses, led to protest by the Social Democratic Party officials.

The centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) has been in coalition with centre-right CDU in this current government, as well as in Merkel's first term. These two parties are Germany’s biggest, leading to a union dubbed the "Grand Coalition". Another option is a Black-Yellow coalition, consisting of Merkel's CDU party propped up by the smaller Free Democratic Party (FDP). This would take Merkel over the target needed for a majority, and was the option the party opted for in 2009-2013.

However, there is the possibility of a coalition of Christian parties with the Social Democrats in Germany. In such a situation, we will again see disagreements among German officials over domestic politics, foreign policy, and even economic and social issues. Some critics and analysts believe that the different views of the Social Democratic Party and Christian Democrats will prevent a strong government in Germany. One of the issues that the two main German parties are disagreeing with is the increase in the German military budget.

 U.S. President Donald Trump has pushed NATO members to do so. Accordingly, NATO members are required to spend their military budget at a rate of 2% of their gross domestic product. The Social Democrats have a tough position in this regard. During the campaign, Martin Schultz strongly criticized Merkel for silence against the trump pressures.

Thus Merkel's main goal is to form a government in which the Social Democrats are not present. However, it must wait until the official announcement of the results of the election yesterday. Will the election results allow Merkel to do so?

Parties that participated in the election

A look at the parties participating in the election yesterday showed that there is a tough competition between the main parties, even smaller ones, for power.as Telegraph reported, The main parties standing in the election are as follows:

• Christian Democrats (CDU): The leading party in Germany, headed by Angela Merkel. The centre-right group - made up of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) - they have employment, tax cuts and ongoing public investment at the forefront of their manifesto.

• Social Democrats (SPD): Led by Martin Schulz, the centre-left are vying to make another Grand Coalition to remain in government. The party polled well following the election of their new leader, but then suffered once again in regional polls. The SPD is a traditionally working class party, pledging investment in education and infrastructure, funded by higher taxes for the rich.

• Left (Linke): Led by Sahra Wagenknecht and loosely descended from the East German communists. This small party, often used as a protest vote, is campaigning for a rise in national minimum wage, a rejection of military missions abroad and the dissolution of NATO.

• Green (Grüne): Led by co-chairs Katrin Göring-Eckardt and Cem Özdemir, this party could be the coalition kingmakers. They rely on educated, urban citizens, focusing on the environment, taxes and social policies.

• Free Democratic Party (FDP): Led by Christian Lindner, the party was Merkel's junior coalition party in her second term. It failed to reach five per cent of the vote to allow another coalition in 2013. The party campaigns for tax cuts and to remain in financial markets - particularly within the EU.

• Alternative for Germany (AfD): A right-wing populist party lead by Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland. The party's hardline anti-EU, anti-immigration views have attracted voters from almost all of the other parties, especially among lower income households.

Is the far right flow?

The growth of extreme right-wing votes in electoral polls is another issue to be considered. Extreme right-wing extremists in Germany are growing like other European countries. Germany's right-wing extremist right to parliament will probably come to power after announcing yesterday's general election results. A look at the surveys conducted in this regard suggests that extreme right-wing power has increased sharply.

As Telegraph reported recently,A late surge in support has propelled the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party into third place in the opinion polls with just days to go before the ballot.Last time around the party, fighting in it's first federal election, failed to win a constituency outright and fell just short of the five per cent required in order to secure MPs via the secondary proportional representation stage of the election.

This time however they seem guaranteed to win representation in the Bundestag with the latest polling average putting them at slightly over 10 per cent. YouGov's Multilevel Regression with Poststratification model puts them on 12 per cent.Were the AfD to secure a third place finish they could find themselves becoming the main opposition party in Germany if Merkel's CDU/CSU party decide to extend their Grand Coalition with the SPD.

Undoubtedly, neither of Germany's main parties, Social Democrats or Christian Democrats, will be coalitions with the right-wing extremist. However, the overall turnaround of this party to the German parliament reflects the threat that threatens the future of this country. From now on, the German parties will have a difficult way to control the extreme right in Germany. With rising refugee crises in Europe, it is expected to increase the power of the right-wing extremism in Germany again. Facing the party in such a situation seems tough.

German-American relations after the election

, in recent days, some American media have been analyzing the relationship between Washington and Berlin after Merkel's possible victory.for example,Usa today reported:

German media have dubbed the gains by Merkel's Christian Democrats and leading opposition Social Democrats the "Trump Effekt" — broad voter rejection of President Trump and his anti-immigration, anti-European Union and anti-internationalist views. Only 11% of Germans consider the American president trustworthy, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.Merkel has rebuked Trump's policies on several occasions and called on Europeans to "take our fate into our own hands" because they no longer have a reliable American partner.

Merkel — Europe's longest serving leader — has taken steps in the past year to blunt any anti-immigration backlash by slowing the influx of refugees to appease conservative voters. But she also has strongly condemned right-wing extremism that embraces nativist policies.In the U.S., her victory will disappoint Trump supporters and delight his detractors. 

But here's another point: Merkel still has a cautious approach to the trump. This is while the members of the Social Democratic Party have a more determined stance against the United States. Martin Schulz emphasized in the electoral debate that the condition for the participation of Social-Democrats in a coalition government with Merkel was a lack of increased German military funding. The Social Democrats intend to resist the pressure of the Trump. This approach is not followed by Merkel. Consequently, Trump does not want the Social Democrats to be in the coalition government of Germany. If the Social Democrats are in power, they will prevent some Merkel's actions in the direction of close relations with the United States. That's what Donald Trump will not want.

The German government's hard path after the election

Ultimately, the German government will face a difficult path in foreign and domestic politics after announcing the election results. On the one hand, the German government will face the pressure of Donald Trump in the White House. There are also disagreements among German officials over how to communicate with Russia. On the other hand, the economic crisis in Europe still remains. Germany, as the country that has a major responsibility to tackle the financial crisis in Europe, must continue to insist on austerity policies. An issue that will be contested by the citizens of most European countries. In the social sphere, we will also see an escalation of the asylum seekers' crisis on the one hand and the growth of radical currents on the other. Can the next government of Germany be able to cope with these issues?

Will Germany's position in Europe and the international system grow or weaken over the coming years? This is a question that will be answered in the near future.

Leave a Comment

3 + 0 =