Germany elections: Scotland stands ready to work with whoever succeeds Angela Merkel as Chancellor – Angus Robertson MSP
Votes from the German general election have been counted but the final outcome may take some time to become clear.
It could be months before a new coalition is formed and the Chancellor confirmed. One thing is certain, that after 16 years in office it will not be Angela Merkel.
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz managed to lead his Social Democrats to a narrow lead over Armin Laschet of Chancellor Merkel’s CDU. Either of them could technically form a coalition with the Greens and liberal Free Democrats (FDP) who both did well in the election and will be the kingmakers in the coalition negotiations.
Early positioning has seen Olaf Scholz declare that he has a clear mandate to form a government. Speaking after the close of polls, he said there were three parties that were on the up – his party, the Greens and the liberals – and it was time for the conservatives to back down. "The clear mandate the citizens of this country have given – these three should form the next government.”
However Christian Lindner, of the FDP, said 75 per cent of voters didn’t vote for the SDP or CDU/CSU. Germany is set for its first ever three-party coalition.
In Scotland, we look forward to working with the new government and Chancellor. Germany is a massively important country for Scotland as a trading, innovation, tourism and cultural partner.
Last week I hosted the German Europe minister from North Rhine-Westphalia, Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner. We will continue our cooperation with Germany and work with all mainstream parties regardless of the election result.