Germany's Greens to vote on coalition with SPD or Conservatives

The vote will be held online and will take less than two weeks, party manager Michael Kellner said. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

BERLIN (BLOOMBERG) - Germany's Greens plan to put to a membership vote the choice of forming a governing coalition with the Social Democrats or the Conservatives, a top party official said.

The vote will be held online and will take less than two weeks, party manager Michael Kellner said on Saturday (Oct 2) at a party convention in Berlin.

The Greens captured 14.8 per cent of the vote in last Germany's Sept 26 general election.

They could attempt to forge a three-way coalition with the Liberals as junior partner and either with the SPD's Olaf Scholz or the CDU's Armin Laschet, the conservative bloc's successor to outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The planned membership vote will increase pressure on the party leadership to push through its ambitious climate policy via coalition negotiations.

"If we don't act totally stupidly, we will be part of the next government," the party's co-leader Robert Habeck told delegates.

"It will be four tough years," he added and suggested that the next government could be formed around Christmas.

"From then on, every crisis will be our crisis."

Co-leader Annalena Baerbock, who ran as the party's candidate for chancellor, received standing ovations on Saturday from the 100 delegates on hand.

Ms Baerbock came under fire during the campaign because of plagiarism charges and didn't fulfil the party's hopes to gain the chancellery.

Still, the Greens picked up an additional 51 seats in German's Bundestag, rising to 118 from 67 in the 2017 election, and rose to the number three overall vote-getter from the sixth-largest.

Green Party officials will meet the Social Democrats for a first round of exploratory talks on Sunday.

They met with the business-friendly FDP for a second time on Friday.

The two parties have contrasting policies in key areas like climate and finance which they would have to bridge before entering formal coalition talks with the SPD.

On Tuesday, the Greens will hold their first exploratory talks with the CDU-led conservative bloc about the formation of a so-called "Jamaica" coalition, named after the Caribbean nation's black, green and gold flag.

A majority of Green party members, however, are thought to prefer an SPD-led government.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.