Green Party members vote on German ‘traffic light’ coalition

Social Democratic Party, SPD, chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz, second left, poses for media with the Green party leaders Annalena Baerbock, second from right, and Robert Habeck, right, and the Free Democratic Party chairman Christian Lindner, left, in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. After weeks of negotiations the leaders of the three parties present a coalition contract for a new German government. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
By Dénes Albert
4 Min Read

After the extraordinary congress of the German Social Democrats (SPD) on Saturday, the congress of the Liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) on Sunday also approved a coalition treaty underpinning the work of the next German federal government, the SPD, the Greens and the FDP.

The Greens will decide on the contract in a hybrid party vote, and the result will be announced on Monday. The agreement was approved by 98.8 per cent of delegates at the SPD’s Berlin Congress on Saturday, and 92.24 percent at the FDP’s extraordinary online congress on Sunday.

With the Greens, the 120,000 party members decide. The hybrid voting, based on letters and votes cast online, runs until early Monday afternoon, with results announced on Monday.

If the majority votes in favor, the coalition treaty will be formally signed on Tuesday, and the federal parliament (Bundestag) will elect Olaf Scholz of the SPD as chancellor on Wednesday, and federal president Frank-Walter Steinmeier will appoint ministers to the Scholz government.

At Olaf Scholz’s party congress, he pointed out that just a few months before the September Bundestag election, hardly anyone believed in victory, yet the SPD won the election and organized a coalition of three parties ready to “dare to make more progress together for Germany.”

Christian Lindner, the president of the FDP, stressed at his party’s congress that the next German government would be would represent a centrist policy, that would not push the country to the left but move it forward.

“This is the guarantee of the FDP’s role in government,” the leader of the center-right Liberal Party said.

It is planned that Scholz’s SPD will receive six ministries in addition to the Chancellery. The Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Construction to be newly established, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of International Economic Development Cooperation. The list of politicians nominated as head of ministry has not yet been made public.

The Greens will have the Foreign Office, which will be led by party co-chair Annalena Baerbock. As a further new element of the government structure, a ministry of economic and climate protection, also referred to as the “Economic Super-Ministry” will be created, which will be led by the other Green co-chair, Robert Habeck, who will also be one of two vice-chancellors.

The left-wing eco-party will also helm the Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Consumer Protection and Nuclear Safety, headed by Steffi Lemke, and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, led by Cem Özdemir. The post of Minister of State for Culture and the Media in the organizational framework of the Chancellery may also be filled by the Greens. The candidate is Claudia Roth, Vice-President of the Bundestag Green Party.

The FDP will receive four ministries. The most important is the Finance Ministry, which Christian Lindner is expected to lead.

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