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Angela Merkel Reaches Deal to Form Coalition Government in Germany

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Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany after coalition talks in Berlin on Wednesday. An agreement with the Social Democrats could end five months of political limbo.CreditBernd Von Jutrczenka/DPA, via Associated Press

ByChristopher F. Schuetze and Katrin Bennhold

Angela Merkel Reaches Deal to Form Coalition Government in Germany
Angela Merkel Reaches Deal to Form Coalition Government in Germany

Feb. 7, 2018

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany agreed on a coalition deal on Wednesday with her previous governing partners, including the Social Democrats, bringing her within striking distance of forming a new government and ending five months of political limbo, according to party officials.

Nearly half a million registered members of the Social Democratic Party, many of whom oppose joining another administration led by Ms. Merkel, will get the final say: The deal is contingent on their approval in a postal vote that analysts say is too close to call.

The results of the vote are expected by March 4.

The agreement was confirmed in a television interview by two members of the negotiating team, Horst Seehofer and Alexander Dobrindt of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party to Ms. Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats.

Details of the coalition agreement will be announced later on Wednesday. The Christian Democrats spent the last two weeks negotiating a governing pact with their Bavarian sister party and the Social Democrats, led by Martin Schulz. If the members of the Social Democratic Party reject the deal, the country could face more uncertainty and the prospect of a snap election.

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