Merkel to Negotiate With Opposition Over German Coalition CabinetWorld | October 18, 2013, Friday // 17:38| views
A composite picture of Sigmar Gabriel (L), chairman of Social Democrats and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R). Photo by EPA/BGNES
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats and the opposition center-left Social Democrats are expected to begin negotiations for a coalition government next week.
During its congress on Sunday, the Social Democratic Party, SPD, will decide whether to support Merkel's conservative CDU.
In September's elections, Merkel's CDU took about 42% of the vote, falling short of absolute majority.
Her preferred partners, the liberal Free Democrats, FDP, won only 4.8%, leaving them with no national representation in parliament for the first time in Germany's post-war history.
The SPD came second, winning 26% of the vote.
Should the SPD decide to go into talks with the CDU, long and difficult negotiations can be expected. The two parties traditionally stand on opposite fronts regarding key issues, such as minimum wages and various other labor laws.
Compromises will be necessary from both sides when talks begin, most likely on Wednesday.