German government grapples with fallout from national elections – EURACTIV.com

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Germany’s three-party coalition struggled to regain its composure on Monday after two ruling parties suffered crushing losses in a major national election on Sunday.

In the regional election in Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, on Sunday May 15, Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD) and the liberal FDP suffered major losses , while their third federal coalition partner, the Greens, tripled their vote share.

The election was widely seen as a “federal mini-election” and rocked the coalition in Berlin.

The SPD, the main party in government, did everything possible to cover up the coup, with the party leadership going so far as to try to silence senior party members who publicly admitted defeat, national media reported. .

After SPD Health Minister Karl Lauterbach publicly called the election results a “clear defeat”, party leader Lars Klingbeil reportedly applauded him during an internal meeting on Monday (May 16th), the urging to “stick to the agreed communication”. strategy,” according to The Spiegel.

Unafraid to acknowledge their dismal result, FDP members called on the party to focus on its brand within the governing coalition to regain ground. “I want my party to be more visible within the coalition,” Secretary General Bijan Djir-Sarai told state television. Some see this call for visibility as the FDP being more vocal in its opposition to Scholz and the SPD than when it criticized the chief chancellor’s line on arms deliveries to Ukraine.

Even the Greens, who were among the big winners on Sunday, are faced with a balancing act. While the party now has the chance to strengthen its position in the Berlin government, celebrating its victory too openly would risk alienating its coalition partners.

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