3 parts to deepen the discussions on the formation of the next German government

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Christian Democratic Union party chairman Armin Laschet speaks to media at party headquarters in Berlin on Thursday, October 7, 2021 (AP Photo / Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) – The center-left German Social Democratic Party and two small parties said on Thursday they would deepen their talks next week on forming a new government, as the outgoing chancellor’s bloc leader Angela Merkel has indicated her willingness to step down after an electoral defeat.

Pro-business Free Democrats General Secretary Volker Wissing said a first round of talks between his party, Social Democrats and Green Environmentalists had “gone very well”.

His Green Party counterpart, Michael Kellner, told reporters it had been a “good day” for talks.

“I had the feeling during the talks that we can create something together,” said Lars Klingbeil, general secretary of the Social Democrats.

None of the three has disclosed details of their negotiations, which, if successful, would push Merkel’s Union bloc into opposition after her 16 years as the head of Europe’s largest economy. The bloc is made up of the Chancellor’s center-right Christian Democratic Union and the Bavarian Christian Social Union.

The leader of the Christian Democrats, North Rhine-Westphalia State Governor Armin Laschet, said on Thursday he would propose to call a party conference in the coming weeks to determine his future direction.

Laschet, who was the Union bloc’s candidate for chancellor, did not say whether he would run to keep his post as party leader, but spoke of the need for “new personalities to take a new start “.

Her campaign to succeed Merkel as chancellor failed to convince voters, and the bloc won 24.1% of the vote on September 26, its worst result on record, placing second behind the Social Democrats.

Laschet, 60, has already said he will not remain governor of North Rhine-Westphalia.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the German elections at https://apnews.com/hub/germany-election


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