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German parties set for coalition talks after SDP’s narrow win

Germany’s Social Democrats (SDP) say they are set to commence talks on forming a three-way coalition and lead the government for the first time in 16 years.

After his party came tops in Sunday’s closely-fought federal election, SDP leader, Olaf Scholz, said he hoped to strike a power-sharing deal before Christmas.

Speaking earlier on Monday, Mr Scholz said he aimed to build a coalition with the Greens and the liberal Free Democrats (FDP), adding that Germans had voted to send  outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and others in the conservative bloc into opposition after 16 years in power.

“Voters have spoken very clearly,” Mr Scholz said.

“They strengthened three parties; the Social Democrats, the Greens, and the Free Democrats; so this is the visible mandate the citizens of this country have given: [that] these three parties should lead the next government,” he stressed

 CDU Leader Armin Laschet has also announced his intention to form a government, despite leading his party to their worst election outcome ever.

Mr Laschet, the candidate for Mrs Merkel’s party, currently governs Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia.