Merkel’s Union bloc scored its best result in 23 years Sunday to put her on course for a third term, winning 41.5 percent of the vote and finishing only five seats short of an absolute majority in the lower house.
However, Merkel’s coalition partner crashed out of Parliament. Merkel looks likely to end up leading either a “grand coalition” government with the center-left Social Democrats of defeated challenger Peer Steinbrueck — reviving the alliance that ran Germany in her first term — or, less likely, with the environmentalist Greens.
“We have two possibilities: the Social Democrats or the Greens,” Volker Kauder, the leader of her party’s parliamentary group, told ARD public Television. “We will determine in our committees how the talks should go.”
“We will provide our country with a strong government,” Kauer added.