Olaf Scholz Poised To Become German Chancellor

The BBC reports:

Germany’s centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) have claimed victory in the federal election, telling the party of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel it should no longer be in power. SPD leader Olaf Scholz said he had a clear mandate to form a government, while his conservative rival Armin Laschet remains determined to fight on.

The two parties have governed together for years. But Mr Scholz says it is time for a new coalition with the Greens and liberals.

Preliminary results gave his party a narrow election win over the conservatives who suffered their worst-ever performance. The Greens and pro-business FDP attracted the most support from the under-30s, in an election dominated by climate change and by differing proposals on how to tackle it.

The New York Times reports:

After 16 years in power under Ms. Merkel’s leadership, they saw their share of the vote collapse by nearly nine points, garnering only 24.1 percent of the vote. It was the party’s worst showing in its history, and the election signaled the end of an era for Germany and for Europe.

The Social Democratic Party defeated Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union by 1.6 percentage points, according to preliminary official results reported early Monday. Their candidate, Olaf Scholz, insisted the party’s gain of five points from 2017 — giving them 25.7 percent of the vote — provided them a mandate to form the next government.

It will likely take at least three parties to form a government and both the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats were planning to hold competing talks to do so.