Olaf Scholz Ends Angela Merkel’s Era 

Olaf Scholz Ends Angela Merkel’s Era 

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz won Sunday’s parliamentary elections, ending Angela Merkel’s era after 16 years.

Scholz, a representative of Germany’s centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), garnered 25.7 percent of the vote, Merkel’s centre-right CDU-CSU conservative bloc got 24.1 percent.

According to provisional results released on Monday, Greens got 14.8 percent and the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) won 11.5 percent. The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) got 10.3 percent of the vote.

Scholz, 63, said he aimed to build a coalition with the Greens and the FDP.

“What you see here is a very happy SPD,” Scholz told cheering supporters on Monday, at his party’s headquarters in the capital, Berlin.

“The voters have very clearly spoken … They strengthened three parties – the Social Democrats, Greens and FDP – and therefore that is the clear mandate the citizens of this country have given – these three should form the next government.”

Scholz, who served as a finance minister in Merkel’s outgoing “grand coalition” administration, said he aims to form a coalition before Christmas.

Merkel, who did not seek a fifth term as chancellor, will stay on in a caretaker role during the coalition negotiations that will set the future course of Europe’s largest economy.

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