Merkel: Asking Germans to vote again is 'simply wrong'

Germany's chancellor has said that it would be "simply wrong" to hold new elections after coalition talks collapsed. Her statement came as rival Social Democrats reconsidered a second "grand coalition" with her CDU.
Merkel at the CDU party conference (picture alliance/dpa/B. Wüstneck)
Chancellor Angela Merkel walked back her earlier comments about fresh elections on Saturday, saying it was "simply wrong" to ask Germany to vote again.
Speaking at the Mecklenburg-Lower Pomerania regional conference of her Christian Democrat (CDU) party, Merkel added that "Germany must have a stable government, but one which also pushes the country forward."
The chancellor was speaking on the heels of Germany's most significant political turmoil in years – the breakdown of coalition talks between the CDU, the Green party and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) last week.
After disappointing results in September's general election, and a refusal from rival Social Democrats (SPD) to enter into another "grand coalition," the CDU approached the two smaller parties in order to form a majority government. However, after the FDP backed out of preliminary talks – citing ideological differences – Germany's longtime leader has been left scrambling for a solution after two months without a new government.
To that end, last week Merkel commented that she would be open to new elections instead of creating a minority government.
Merkel's about-face
She appeared to walk back that statement on Saturday, however, telling her fellow CDU members that "if we can't do anything with the (election) result, we cannot ask the people to vote again."
Perhaps Merkel's optimism that a coalition could still be savaged from the September election was due to a change in tune from the SPD.
After four years ruling together with the CDU and receiving its worst ever results in the federal vote, the SPD announced that it had no intention to enter into another grand coalition and would prefer to remain an opposition voice in the Bundestag.
However, as the situation grows increasingly desperate and voters become more fed up with the lack of action in Berlin, the SPD has indicated that it may stay in power after all.
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SPD reconsiders grand coalition
On Friday, SPD leader Martin Schulz said he would eschew favoring the party elite and instead called for a grassroots decision over whether the party wanted to govern or not.
But Germany may still have to wait a while longer for a new government – on Sunday, SPD deputy leader Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel said that no decision on entering a second grand coalition would be made before the party's national conference on December 7-9.
Merkel, for her part, welcomed upcoming talks with Schulz and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier this week to discuss the possibility of joining forces once again.
Merkel: Asking Germans to vote again is 'simply wrong' Merkel: Asking Germans to vote again is 'simply wrong' Reviewed by Alexander Von Stern on 07:05:00 Rating: 5