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Coalition mayhem in Hesse

Elizabeth Press · 30 Jan 2008, 15:25

Published: 30 Jan 2008 15:25 GMT+01:00

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“The grand coalition is impossible,” Andrea Ypsilanti head of the SPD and candidate for premier of Hessen, told the local daily Neuen Presse. She told the Berliner Morgenpost that there is no common ground between both parties’ programmes and that her refusal to enter a coalition with the CDU is not simply based on opposition to CDU Roland Koch.

“If Roland Koch were gone, the CDU’s program would remain. The programs do not fit together. One cannot make a coalition in which both parties must completely abandon their identity.”

The CDU has announced that it is willing to talk to “all democratic parties” about a coalition with the exception of the Left Party. The rightwing NDP party is also excluded, as the CDU does not consider them to be democratic.

One possibility would be a coalition between the centre FDP and the CDU, which would encompass 53 percent of the seats. Pundits have also cited a coalition between the SPD and the Green Party as a possibility. This would encompass 51 percent of the seats.

Another possibility could be the “Jamaica Coalition,” a coalition between the CDU, FDP and The Green party. The name comes from the respective party colours, yellow, black and green, the colours of the Jamaican flag. This scenario, however, was rejected by the Green Party.

Leading SPD candidate in the Hamburg election Michael Naumann has called for a “traffic light” coalition. This is a reference to the colours of the SPD, CDU and The Green Party, which are red, yellow and green, respectively. The Green Party rejected this coalition, because they did not want to join with the conservative CDU.

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Politicians and pundits believe that Roland Koch will remain the premier in the end, as he won the most votes, and that a grand coalition will form in the absence of any other alternative.

Elizabeth Press (elizabeth.press@thelocal.de)

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