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Angela Merkel expected to skate to fourth term in German election

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Angela Merkel expected to skate to fourth term in German election

Angela Merkel

Germans elect representatives to the Bundestag today. With Angela Merkel’s return as chancellor virtually guaranteed, today’s results will determine her junior partners.

Merkel’s centre-right CDU could continue its grand coalition with Martin Schulz’s centre-left SDP, which would likely see a continuation of current policies.

Other options include the Greens and centrist FDP. The Greens, Merkel’s preferred partners, want emissions-free vehicles by 2030 and a tougher stance on Russia and Turkey, possibly with co-leader Cem Ozdemir as foreign minister. The FDP wants a new “digitalisation ministry” to invest in and ease regulations on technological innovation.

The CDU could partner with both parties in a “Jamaica” coalition—an arrangement test-run in some regional governments—but fundamental issues divide them. For one, the FDP supports deporting rejected asylum-seekers, a policy the Greens adamantly oppose.

If Merkel can avoid another grand coalition, expect her to try; however, with the Greens and FDP each polling around 8%, the numbers may not add up. If the “Jamaica” partnership proves untenable, Mr Schulz will go from rival to renewed partner.

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Delve deeper: The German federal election: a tale of two Europeans

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