Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) have reached a breakthrough to begin official talks on coalition.
After about 24 hours of talks, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU, agreed on a formal road to forming a so-called grand coalition government.
The deal ends months of uncertainty about the shape of Germany’s next government following September’s inconclusive elections and as a result heads off the threat of fresh elections.
A new coalition government would see Merkel at the helm of Europe’s biggest economy for a fourth term in office.
However, an SPD party conference set down for January 21 still has to approve holding the talks for a rerun of the Merkel-led coalition that has ruled the nation for eight of the chancellor’s 12 years in power.
DPA reports that party officials also expect it take until April to negotiate a new coalition agreement.
All parties agreed on a 28-page paper outlining the basis for moving ahead with formal coalition talks.
Lawmaker Julia Kloeckner, part of the negotiating team for Merkel’s Christian Democrats, tweeted a photo of the cover of the document Friday morning.
She says “many, many hours of work, serious wrangling and shaping are contained in these 28 pages.”
The result came after a more than 24-hour session, which capped a week of negotiations, AP reports.
Dorothee Baer, of the CDU’s Bavarian-only sister Christian Social Union, tweeted a photo of the agreement’s cover page in her hand just before 9 a.m., saying “still quite warm.”