Angela Merkel, FDP win German election to form coalition government

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her preferred partner, the Free Democrats (FDP), claimed victory in the general election here on Sunday ant the two parties will form a new coalition government.

Merkel’s conservative party, the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU),and the FDP jointly won 48.3 percent of votes in the general election, assuring the two parties of winning a clear majority to form a new coalition government, the latest exit poll results said.

“We have achieved our goals,” said Merkel when addressing supporters at the CDU headquarters in Berlin.

Merkel, with a smile on her face, said the CDU/CSU and the FDP have boasted a “stable majority” to form a new government.

She also extended thanks to their supporters, to the party members for campaigning as well as to people across the country.

“Chancellor is a chancellor for all Germans,” Merkel said, noting that there were lots of problems ahead for her new government to resolve.

According to the latest exit poll results released by public TV channels ZDF and ARD, the CDU/CSU picked up 33.9 percent of the votes, while the FDP earned 14.4 percent, the best ever performance by the pro-business party.

The combined votes indicates that the two parties booked around323 seats in the 598-seat parliament, boasting a clear majority to put an end to the current “grand coalition” government and form a black-yellow coalition for the next four years.

FDP chairaman Guido Westerwelle, who is widely considered to be foreign minister for Merkel’s new government, celebrated his party’s sensational victory at the FDP headquarters in Berlin,

Westerwelle, who had already made phone call with Merkel after the exit poll results were known, said that the FDP, as a junior partner in the upcoming government, would stand up to the duties.

“Entering the government means more duties and responsibilities, we are ready to take on our own responsibility,” he said.

The latest exit poll results showed that the Social Democrats (SPD) merely earned 23.4 percent of the votes, the lowest since WWII. The second party in German politics will have to turn into an opposition after 11 years in the federal government.

The SPD’s candidate for chancellory, Vice Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier, admitted defeat soon after the exit polls were released.

“It is a bitter day for SPD,” said Steinmeier at the SPD headquarters in Berlin, with tears in his eyes.

He said Sunday’s election was a “defeat” for the SPD after hard campaigning. He extended thanks to supporters.

The latest exit polls said the Greens got 10 percent of votes while the Left Party took 12.2 percent.

The exit polls also said the turnout of Sunday’s election stood at 71.2 percent, lower than previous election turnout of 77.7 percent in 2005.

In most cases in Germany, the exit poll results are very close to final official results.

In the follow-up process, leaders from the CDU/CSU and the FDP, headed by Merkel and Westerwelle, are expected to hold negotiations on the details on forming a new center-right coalition government.



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