Elections in Germany: Waiting for a Six-Party Bundestag

Parliamentary elections in Germany, which will be held on September 24, are likely to confirm the mandate of the ruling Christian-Democratic Union (CDU), and the strengthening of the non-systemic parties, such as "Alternative for Germany" (AdG), should not be expected, says Valdai Club expert Reinhard Krumm, head of Vienna-based Regional Office of Security and Peace in Europe (ROSPE), Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation.

Currently, the leading party is the CDU and Angela Merkel will most likely remain Chancellor, Krumm said in an interview with valdaiclub.com. However, support for the CDU could be only 38-39 percent, so the creation of a ruling coalition should be expected. It may include the liberal FDP (Freie Demokratische Partei) or the Green Party. According to Krumm, six parties will be represented in the new Bundestag. In addition to the CDU/CSU, the seats will be occupied by the Social Democratic Party of Germany, "Left" party, Freie Demokratische Partei, Green party and the "Alternative for Germany."

"For Germany to have six parties in the parliament is still something new," Krumm said. "Undoubtedly, the discussions in the Bundestag will be very thorny."

The "Alternative for Germany" (AfD) party, which is considered non-systemic, stably retains 9-10 percent of the electorate, Krumm stressed. "Let's see [what will happen] if such a party that criticizes the government on the EU membership, the euro, relations with Russia, and so on, will gain some influence. I am sure that AfD will not become part of the ruling coalition. It's almost out of the question."

All of this means the continuation of the course pursued by Chancellor Merkel, although foreign policy adjustments are possible.

"I do not think that the domestic policy will change much," Krumm said. The course of foreign policy - maybe. There will be a new Foreign Minister. I do not rule out that we can expect some changes in foreign policy, in particular - regarding Russia. But it is very difficult to predict because the Chancellor Merkel keeps the ruling course. Probably, we should not wait for the great changes, but some nuances concerning the interaction with Russia are possible."

As for relations with Western partners, we should not expect changes, Krumm concluded.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.