Germany's SPD okays new coalition deal with Merkel

ANI | Updated: Mar 04, 2018 19:33 IST

Berlin [Germany], Mar 4 (ANI): German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) received a boost on Sunday as the Social Democratic Party (SPD) agreed to form a "grand coalition" government with them, ending months of political uncertainty across the country.

The agreement by the SPD has now guaranteed Merkel a fourth term in office.

"A majority of 66.02 percent members of 463,723 eligible SPD members voted in favour of renewing the constellation that has governed Germany for the last four years," SPD treasurer, Dietmar Nietan, confirmed at the party's headquarters in Berlin, The Guardian reported.

"We now have some clarity. The SPD will enter into government", said SPD's caretaker leader, Olaf Scholz, who is a contender for the role of finance minister.

According to reports, the SPD voted in favour of the CDU, getting 399 seats in the 709-seat German Parliament. While the SPD got 153 seats, the Merkel-led CDU got 246 seats.

The leadership of the SPD had initially ruled out joining Merkel in the government in the wake of historically disappointing results at federal elections in September last year.

The SPD lawmakers will now finalise six ministerial posts, with Scholz confirming on Sunday that there would be three female and three male ministers.

This will be the third "grand coalition" between the ruling CDU and the SPD since 2005.

Merkel would be officially sworn in on March 14. (ANI)