Social Democrats would consider rejoining coalition, but ‘only if Merkel goes’
A senior member of the Social Democrats (SPD) caused eyebrows to be raised on Thursday, when he told a talk show that his party would only be willing to re-enter government on one condition.
Thomas Oppermann, who was until Wednesday the leader of the SPD in the Bundestag, told the Markus Lanz talk show that, after four years in government, the SPD would be going into the opposition.
This was nothing new. Less than an hour after the first exit polls showed the SPD had crashed to their worst ever result in the national election on Sunday, the party announced they would not enter a new coalition.
But Lanz then asked Oppermann if the SPD would consider becoming junior partner to the Christian Democrats if Angela Merkel were to stand down as Chancellor.
“That would indeed be a new situation,” Oppermann replied.
But the ex-faction leader added that he thought a Jamaica coalition was possible because “the Green Party will lower themselves to anything.”
As the SPD have ruled out joining a new government, the only other possible coalition is a government of Merkel’s Christian Union, the Green Party and the Free Democrats, what is known as a Jamaica coalition due to the party colours corresponding to the colours of the Caribbean island’s flag.
A Jamaica coalition has never been formed at the national level before. Doubts have been raised as to its viability, due to the stark ideological differences between the parties.
The SPD won 20.5 percent of the vote in the election on Sunday. It was their worst ever result and has led to inner party turmoil and rumours about the future of the party leadership.