BERLIN (AP) — The two parties that emerged as the likely kingmakers in Germany’s election last month said Wednesday that they want to hold talks on a possible new government under the leadership of outgoing center-left Social Democrats.
If ultimately successful — which is far from certain — the negotiations would send outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Union bloc into opposition after 16 years at the helm of Europe’s biggest economy.
But such exploratory talks are the first of several steps toward a new coalition government, and both parties said a coalition with the Union isn’t off the table.
Germany’s Sept. 26 election left two parties as likely kingmakers: the Greens, who finished third, and the business-friendly Free Democrats, who finished fourth. Those two parties could team up with either the Social Democrats, who narrowly won the election, or the Union for a parliamentary majority.
The Greens traditionally lean to the left, while the Free Democrats in recent decades have mostly allied with the Union. All four parties have held bilateral meetings with each other in recent days.
On Wednesday, the Greens and then the Free Democrats said they had decided to hold three-way exploratory talks with the Social Democrats.
Follow AP’s coverage of Germany’s election at https://apnews.com/hub/germany-election
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