BERLIN – Members of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union, which is led by the current Chancellor, approved on Monday a coalition deal with the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
A majority of the CDU listened to Chancellor Angela Merkel and backed the tabled agreement with its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, and the center-left SPD of Martin Schulz, bringing Germany one step closer to ending months of political uncertainty following an inconclusive federal election.
The German leader had earlier spoken at the party congress in Berlin, insisting a stable government would bring a new dynamic to the country and help relaunch the European Union.
The SPD, whose youth wing steadfastly rejects the idea of a coalition with Merkel, is due to vote on the coalition proposal on March 4.
The Chancellor acknowledged in a speech that her party’s results in the September 2017 elections had been disappointing, having lost two million votes to liberals and to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which made huge gains.
She insisted that it was important the CDU regain citizens’ trust and launched a call in favor of renewing the party, a job which would be handled by Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the new secretary-general.
The 55-year-old minister-president of the state of Saarland is widely seen in Germany as a future successor to Merkel.
Her recent shake-up also saw the 37-year-old Jens Spahn, one of the chancellor’s more outspoken and conservative critics, be proposed as the future minister of health, which is expected to be a tough role given the SPD’s campaign to push through health reforms.