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Despite stalemate, Merkel’s twilight is still not in sight

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Rebecca Valli

Germany is locked in a political stalemate after coalition talks failed and the liberal Free Democrats announced its withdrawal from the negotiations. If the impasse continues, Angela Merkel – who was voted in to form a government in September – may have to trigger snap elections.

Mona Krewel

Visiting Assistant Professor

Mona Krewel, an assistant professor of government at Cornell University, expert on German politics and author of the recently published book Modernization of German Election Campaigns?, comments on the possibility of snap elections and what that would mean for Germany and Angela Merkel’s future. Krewel is currently in Germany and is available for interviews.

Krewel says:

“The Free Democratic Party (FDP) played a risky game. Leaving the Jamaica coalition talks might backfire on them should it come to snap elections.

“The Social Democrats’ future does not look rosy either. They have just started to discuss the renewal of their party and elections would come much too early for them.

“The Green party on the other hand might profit from disappointed SPD voters, as they have actively searched a way out of the September elections’ result and have been willing to compromise in the Jamaica talks. Therefore, they should be able to win additional votes compared to their result two months ago. One man’s meat, is another man’s poison.

“If the Christian Democratic Union, the Christian Social Union and the Greens stick to their story line that the end of the coalition talks must be fully accredited to the FDP, then voters should gather behind Merkel one more time and enable her to pull off a victory.

“However, Angela Merkel will probably have to deal with yet another difficult result that does not suggest a clear will of the electorate. But bolstered by the voters she might then either risk a minority government with the Green party, or could be able to convince the Social Democrats to join yet another grand coalition. Therefore, it is much too early to speak of the twilight of Merkel. I would not be surprised to see her muddling her way out of this and survive yet another political earthquake in the end.”

Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.