Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) won the most parliamentary seats in national elections, while Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU bloc came in second, preliminary official results showed Monday.
Germans voted Sunday in a very tight election to elect a new parliament and determine who will succeed Merkel as the country’s next chancellor.
Olaf Scholz’s SPD won the election by a narrow margin, gaining 25.7% of the vote and securing 206 seats in the federal parliament, according to the preliminary results announced by the federal election agency.
Conservative chancellor candidate Armin Laschet’s CDU/CSU came in second with 24.1% with 196 seats in the Bundestag. It was the worst election result of the Christian Democrats since 1949.
The Social Democrats have secured a narrow victory in the election but fell short of a parliamentary majority, signaling that the country is heading for a three-way coalition government for the first time since the 1960s.
Germany's chancellor is elected indirectly, with voters choosing new parliament members who then determine the new chancellor with a vote among themselves.
If the winning party secures a majority in parliament or manages to build a coalition government with an absolute majority, its candidate usually becomes the country's next chancellor.
After 16 years in power, Merkel is quitting active politics but will remain in her post until a new government is formed./aa