The chancellor, who is preparing to retire from politics after 16 years in power, He spoke for the first time since his squad’s historic defeat on Sunday, in a short statement.
He congratulated Olaf Schulz, the center-left leader and deputy chancellor of the outgoing government, on his “success” in the legislative elections, in which the Social Democratic Party (SPD) led slightly over the conservative CDU/CSU, with 25.7% of the vote.
His press office said the congratulations were sent on Monday, the day after the election.
Also, on Wednesday, Armin Laschet congratulated him, according to anonymous sources from his party. But Laschet still wants to form a government with the support of the Liberals and the Greens.
Since the elections, criticism has increased among the conservative ranks of their leader’s stubbornness in his desire to lead a coalition. Although the center-right received only 24.1% of the vote and remained in second place, down nearly 9 points compared to 2017.
Merkel cut her distance on Wednesday, a day after his Bavarian allies abandoned the somewhat unpopular Laschet.
“It is clear that Olaf Schultz has a better chance of being a consultant at the moment,” said its leader, Markus Soder. But Laschet, a native of the Rhineland known for his toughness, does not want to back down.
On Tuesday, at a meeting of his parliamentary group, he apologized for the disappointing electoral result, but at the same time reiterated that “no one has the right to declare themselves the main winner,” according to various German media.
More and more observers doubt that it can last much longer. “I don’t think Armin Laschet will survive this week,” said Democratic Party Vice President Wolfgang Kubiki. “The pressure is building,” he said.
for this part, The Social Democrats quickly renewed their call for a coalition with the Greens and the Free Democratic Party, which received 14.8% and 11.5% of the vote, respectively.
Rolf Mutzenic, head of the SPD’s parliamentary group re-elected on Wednesday, said the two formations “must be careful enough to accept our offer to start exploratory talks quickly” with the aim of creating an alliance.
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