UPDATE German SPD-led coalition achievable by year-end, party co-leader says

(Adds the Greens giving mandate to their leaders for talks)

BERLIN, October 2 (Reuters) – A tripartite German government led by the Social Democrats (SPD) should be ready to take office by the end of the year, said the co-leader of the center-left party in a newspaper interview. published Saturday.

Norbert Walter-Borjans said he was convinced his party, which won Sunday’s national elections by a narrow margin, which left him looking for partners, could quickly agree on a coalition with the Business-friendly Greens and Free Democrats (FDP).

A ruling SPD alliance with the Greens and the FDP – dubbed a “traffic light” coalition after their respective colors – would have a parliamentary majority.

“The government should be in place by the end of the year. It is doable,” Walter-Borjans told Welt am Sonntag.

“We don’t have to hold exploratory talks until we give up this time around, because we want a (coalition) traffic light in which the three partners put their forces to work,” he said.

“In this sense, we could start formal coalition negotiations in October and conclude them by December,” he added.

The Greens gave their leaders a mandate at a party convention on Saturday to explore talks on forming a national government.

Greens co-leader Annalena Baerbock said her party was not yet engaged in a specific coalition, but its priorities were climate protection and a liberal society with social cohesion. “It means entering the talks with an open mind,” she told Congress.

The conservative bloc of the SPD and Chancellor Angela Merkel, which has fallen to a record result, is courting small parties to secure a parliamentary majority for a ruling coalition. Polls show voters would prefer the SPD to lead him.

Talks on forming a coalition government in Germany usually take several weeks or months. After the last national elections, on September 24, 2017, these negotiations continued until the following March.

The SPD is to hold exploratory talks with the Greens and the FDP on Sunday. The two smaller “kingmaker” parties met on Friday https://reut.rs/39YrDUF for a second round of talks, which, according to FDP leader Christian Lindner, took place in a “good atmosphere” .

The Greens and the FDP, at opposite ends of the political spectrum and at odds https://reut.rs/3uiuoJG on a range of issues, took center stage after the SPD’s narrow election victory – its first since 2012 .

Merkel, in power since 2005, plans to step down once a new government is formed and will stay until that point.

(Written by Paul Carrel; edited by David Holmes)

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