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View Full Version : CDU wins German elections



Ironduke
28 Sep 09,, 14:49
Well, good for them. Now the SDP will be kicked out of government and be replaced by the FDP, a party that advocates free markets, low taxes, and a pro-business environment. If I were a German, I'd probably cast my vote for the FDP.

Merkel pledges speedy transition

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has outlined plans to form a swift coalition with the Free Democrats (FDP) after a major win in Sunday's election.

Speaking in Berlin, a smiling Mrs Merkel said the poll outcome was a tremendous vote of trust.

She said a coalition between the pro-business FDP and her centre-right CDU/CSU bloc would have the momentum to tackle Germany's challenges.

Germany has been enduring its most severe recession since World War II.

While business confidence has improved and Europe's largest economy has returned to growth, output is still set to be down by around 5% this year, and the country's unemployment level and budget deficit are rising.

The chancellor said she would hold "swift and decisive" talks with FDP leader Guido Westerwelle, tipped by some to be Germany's next foreign minister after his party achieved its best-ever election result.

Mrs Merkel said she would be contacting Mr Westerwelle to set up negotiations on a coalition that would take shape up "in the coming days and weeks".

"Of course quality comes before speed, but I think Germany is entitled to have a new government quickly," she said. "We have many tasks ahead of us."

She made clear that the new coalition should be in place at the latest by 9 November, when Germany marks 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Although they would be the junior partners in a coalition, the FDP are likely to push for bold reforms and quick tax cuts to revive the economy, says the BBC's European affairs correspondent Oana Lungescu in Berlin.

They will push for a total reduction of 35bn euros and a simplification of Germany's tax system. But with public debt soaring, the partners will find it hard to meet their tax-cut promises, our correspondent says.

"The tasks for the future are very clear to see," said Mrs Merkel. "We need to have a clear mandate and clear responsibilities between the two parties."

Mrs Merkel's previous coalition partners, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), suffered their worst election performance since WWII.
BBC NEWS | Europe | Merkel pledges speedy transition (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8277912.stm)

zara
28 Sep 09,, 14:58
Merkel's domestic free-market instincts had been pretty much neutered by the coalition with the SPD. I think now she has the mandate to push through reform were going to see a much more aggressive agenda.

Remember when she was first elected there was talk of Germanys 'Iron Lady'?

kato
28 Sep 09,, 15:46
They will push for a total reduction of 35bn euros and a simplification of Germany's tax system. But with public debt soaring, the partners will find it hard to meet their tax-cut promises, our correspondent says.
94% of Germans (!!!) do not believe Merkel's tax-cut promises, and 60% think she'll actually increase taxes. Considerably.

With the FDP in the boat, it's assured that any and all tax increases will only hit the middle and lower class though, while the taxes for the uppermost crust will be cut. I'd personally in this combination expect a small hike in the consumer taxes (sales tax and tobacco etc), and a cut of the maximum income tax border to 40% (medium-term - even if the CDU will try to stem against it).

We can expect a row between CDU and FDP over the future of the Bundeswehr btw. The CDU is an avid supporter of conscription and conservative military politics, while the FDP sees it as too costly - in fact the FDP wants to privatize about half of the Bundeswehr (logistics etc). The CDU wants to use the military domestically to support police, the FDP is a stark opponent of just that. And so on.


She made clear that the new coalition should be in place at the latest by 9 November, when Germany marks 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
According to the constitution, the parliament will have to switch over to the new assembly by 27 October at the latest, and elect a chancellor as fast as possible afterwards. 10 days with a non-supported government is rather pushing it in fact.

Merlin
28 Sep 09,, 15:54
This new CDU/FDP coalition is bad news for Turkey which is waiting for years to join the EU.

crooks
28 Sep 09,, 15:57
Wowee - great result for the Free Democrats, is that their record?

Good for Die Linke as well, less so for the Grunes, but still reasonable I'd imagine, atrocious for the SPD and poor for the Union but they've got a rightist majority so they'll be happy.

Are the final seat totals up yet?

kato
28 Sep 09,, 23:05
It's the best results postwar or since their forming up for FDP, Greens and Left Party.
It's the worst result postwar for the CSU, and the worst results since 1949 for CDU and SPD.

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The preliminary official result (pending possible legal action against the election) in seat distribution is:

CDU - 194 (+14)
SPD - 146 (-76)
FDP - 93 (+32)
Left - 76 (+22)
Greens - 68 (+17)
CSU - 45 (-1)

CDU/CSU/FDP hold 332 seats, the three opposition parties 290 seats.

24 seats are overhang mandates, 21 for CDU and 3 for CSU. Without overhang mandates, there would still be a CDU/CSU/FDP majority of 308 to 290 seats. Overhang mandates have been ruled technically unconstitutional and election laws will have to be changed to that effect until 2011 (an attempt to change them in July was voted against by CDU/CSU/FDP and SPD, the latter in the hope of gaining some itself).

Direct mandates won were 173 for CDU (incl. 21 overhang), 45 for CSU (incl. 3 overhang), 64 for SPD, 16 for Left Party, one by the Greens and none by the FDP.

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The four largest parties that won't enter parliament (out of 21) are:
- Pirate Party : 2.0%
- National Democrat Party (neonazis) : 1.5%
- Animal Rights Party (vegans) : 0.5%
- Republicans (neonazis) : 0.4%

To enter parliament according to their vote share, a party needs to gain at least 5% of the overall federal votes (regular way), or at least 3 direct mandates (ie ~5% of seats). The latter happened for the PDS (Left Party) in 1994, as well as due to the split election in East and West for both PDS and Greens in 1990.

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The seat distribution in the Bundesrat (senate) is now effectively up for legal action.
Distribution in the senate is:

CDU/CSU/FDP : 32 votes (BW, BY, NRW, HE, SN, NI)
negative neutral : 10 votes (HH, MV, ST - joint governments with opposition)
Opposition : 22 votes (BE, BB, SL, TH, HB, RLP)
unclear : 4 votes (SH)

The worst case result happened in the separate Schleswig-Holstein state elections, where due to their screwy voting laws, a minority of votes (for CDU/FDP) gained a majority in seats; the election council, in which the opposition parties have a majority, will make a binding statement on whether this calculation is valid, or whether an alternative calculation giving CDU/FDP their appropriate seats in Schleswig-Holstein is valid. CDU/FDP can then ask the parliament to veto this binding statement, and the opposition parties can then take it to the state supreme court.

Edit: It now seems the Danish minority party in Schleswig-Holstein has declared it will probably be voting for the solution favouring the CDU. SPD can of course still appeal against that then, and then it'd be up to the state supreme court.

Merkel needs the 4 votes from Schleswig-Holstein to gain a majority in the senate (minimum 35 out of 69 seats). Votes from the states in the state are cast en-bloc, which forces joint governments with opposition parties to stay neutral if that party demands it, and these neutral votes count as a 'nay' on any decision.