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German Prime Minister Schroeder’s Ruling Coalition Continues Its Position

German Prime Minister Schroeder’s Ruling Coalition Continues Its Position

Posted September. 23, 2002 23:05,   


On September 22, 2002, the coalition of Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Green Party, which is led by German Prime Minister Schroeder (photo), won the 15th election for the Lower House members and thus made it possible for Schroeder to continue his cabinet.

Consequently, in Germany, the leftist government has become able to hold its position against the “right-wing vogue,” which has been sweeping Europe in recent days.

According to the temporary tally by the German National Election Commission, the SPD has secured 251 seats in the Lower House with 38.5% of the total votes. And Green Party has occupied 55 seats with 8.6% of votes cast. Thus, along with Green Party, the SPD succeeded in occupying more than the majority in the Lower House, or 4 seats more than the majority of 302. The coalition of the CDU and the CSU remained even with the SPD: 248 seats with 38.5%. But the coalition failed to grab the power since its coalition partner the FDP just won 47 seats with 7.4%.

Due to the stagnant economy of Germany, the SPD-Green coalition was expected to face hardship in the election. But, deep into the race, the coalition succeeded in raising the support for it by opposing US attack on Iraq.

Green Party came out the biggest winner of this election. It first secured its position within the government in 1998. But in this election, its performance well exceeded what many people had expected. Due to the advance of Green Party, the ruling coalition would instill more conservatism in the new cabinet.

East German Communist Party (PDS) just settled for acquiring 2 local districts with 4.0% support. Therefore, it failed to advance into the House since it did not overcome the 5% cutoff line for the advancement.

The FDP, upon projection showing its performance would not reach up to the expected 18%, requested for the resignation of its second man, whose negative comments on Jews caused a controversy during the campaign period.

The total voting rate for this election was 79.1%, which is lower than that of ’98 election (i.e. 82.2%).