(Update: adds Scholz reaction)
Berlin, Sep 27 (EFE).- Germany’s center-left Social Democratic Party has secured a narrow victory over outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel’s party in federal elections held on Sunday.
In its best result in years, the SDP, helmed by deputy foreign minister Olaf Scholz, won 25.7% of the votes, while Merkel’s conservative bloc led by Armin Laschet came second with 24.1%, Germany’s federal electoral commission said Monday.
The center-left captured 5.2% more votes than in 2017, as the conservative bloc formed by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian counterpart, the Christian Social Union (CSU), posted their worst ever results.
The Greens, led by Annalena Baerbock got 14.8% of the votes, followed by the Liberal Party (FDP) with 11.5%, according to preliminary results.
Both parties are expected to play key roles in coalition formation talks, with the SPD and CDU unlikely to continue governing together.
The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), a party excluded as a potential coalition partner by the rest of the parliamentary spectrum, obtained 10.3 percent of the votes.
The Left won 4.9% of the votes, the minimum percentage needed to get seats in the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament.
Sunday’s general elections were the first since 2005 in which Merkel, who has been chancellor the past 16 years, is not running as the head of the conservatives.
Ahead of a party meeting on Monday morning, Scholz said: “the CDU and CSU have not only suffered heavy losses, they have also received the message from voters that they must go to the opposition”.
“We must now show pragmatism and leadership in the task of forming a government,” Scholz added.
“We campaigned for more respect in our society, we are committed to modernizing industry and we want to stop climate change. Those are three big goals that we need to work toward in the next few years, and that is what we are committed to.” EFE