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20 Sep 2019, 12:58
Edgar Meza

Greens in coalition talks in eastern German states following recent elections

Clean Energy Wire / Spiegel Online / Süddeutsche Zeitung

Elections in the eastern German states of Brandenburg and Saxony left established parties severely weakened and have resulted in coalition talks focused on alliances with the Green Party. Taking a page from neighbouring Saxony-Anhalt, where a shaky coalition of Social Democrats (SPD), the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Greens governs, Brandenburg and Saxony are looking to possibly follow suit with so-called “Kenya coalitions”, due to the black, red and green party colours that match the flag of the East African nation.

In Brandenburg, a decade-long leftwing coalition between the SPD and the Left Party came to an end due to its poor performance in the recent election. Timo Lehmann writes in Spiegel Online that efforts to form a red-red-green coalition between SPD, Left and Greens broke down, due in part to the narrow margin the coalition would have had, and because of the SPD’s eagerness for a stronger alliance with the CDU. Green Party parliamentary leader Ursula Nonnemacher made it clear that her party preferred a red-red-green coalition: “We could not push through our favoured government coalition. But the SPD has a government mandate as the strongest force.”

In Saxony, the CDU, Greens and SPD leaders are set to meet in Dresden next week for preliminary coalition talks, Ulrike Nimz writes in Süddeutsche Zeitung. While SPD and the Greens are more traditional partners, a number of major issues separate the Green Party and the conservative CDU, namely the state’s coal exit, the legal status of cannabis, the speed limit debate and the regulation of wolf hunting. The parties have their work cut out for them: Nine working groups are aiming to lay out their common goals in the coming weeks. Meetings are scheduled for 27 September and 3 October and if they fare well, party bosses will greenlight official coalition negotiations.  

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