Merkel's staff rules out coalition with AfD: 'We will never accept their ideas'
With hopes of forming a majority government with former Free Democratic and Social Democratic parties still unclear and the opposition AfD now being the third biggest party in parliament, Angela Merkel may have to settle for a minority government or face snap elections.
Altmaier said that that "we will never accept the political ideas" espoused by the AfD, as it is dividing the country and pitting people against each other.
“I don’t think we should let the AfD decide which laws the country needs and which it doesn’t in the Bundestag,” he said in an interview with Bild am Sonntag.
According to him, relations between Angela Merkel’s alliance of conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the Free Democrats remained good even after talks to form the so-called Jamaica coalition fell through.
The statement made by Merkel’s chief of staff comes in the wake of a situation “unprecedented in 70 years” in the German Federal Republic after the Free Democratic Party pulled out of weeks-long negotiations on forming a parliamentary coalition with Merkel’s bloc which, if successful, would have given it a 55 percent majority in the 709-seat Bundestag.
The FDP’s departure has left Merkel’s coalition with just 44 percent of parliamentary seats with new attempts to form a coalition, a minority government or a new election remaining the only options on the table.
Most recently, the SPD leader Martin Schulz said that he hadn’t yet given the green light for a coalition with Merkel’s conservative union and the allied Greens, adding that the party would discuss alternatives at a meeting next week.
The current political turmoil is the result of the September 24 parliamentary elections, when both the CDU/CSU and the SPD suffered their worst election results since the 1940s, with 33 percent of people voting for the CDU/CSU, 20.5 percent — for the SPD and 12.6 percent — for the right-wing Alternative for Germany party.