How Early General Federal Elections Can Be Held in Germany

James Bowden's Blog

The Grand Coalition of the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats straddles the center-left and center-right like the Colossus of Rhodes and leaves no credible opposition as an alternative government in its wake.

Introduction

Germans elected a new parliament on 24 September 2017. The main center-right and center-left parties, the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats, both lost ground to the far-right Alternative for Germany and the far-left, aptly named The Left. The Free Democrats, a pro-business liberal party, won back the presence and representation that they lost in 2013, and the Greens also made gains.

From 2005 to 2009 and from 2013 to 2017, Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats governed in Grand Coalition with the Social Democrats. From 2009 to 2013, the Christian Democrats entered into a more ideologically compatible coalition with the Free Democrats. In 2017, the Christian Democrats won a plurality of seats and sought to form another coalition, but…

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