As the left-leaning Social Democratic Party narrowly leads in exit poll results, its member and Germany’s state secretary for environment Jochen Flasbarth says it’s the first time his party “really fought for climate, fought for the environment.”
“There was always a positive environment protection position. It was a first time that it was not tactical, that was really coming out of the heart of Social Democrats. And so this is also an election for climate, for the environment,” Flasbarth told CNN.
While his party currently leads with a narrow margin according to the exit poll results, he said that a clear picture may not emerge soon.
“It is absolutely not clear what will happen during this evening. It is still too close,” he said Sunday. “We will need to wait a whole night until we can see what kind of government we will see in the future.”
If SPD does get the chance to form a coalition, Olaf Scholz’s first choice in forming a coalition would be the Green Party, Flasbarth said.
“This will not be sufficient to reach a majority in parliament. That is clear right now. So there are two more options together with liberals. And it is still possible to have a government [comprised of] the Social Democrats, the Geen Party and the left,” he said.
As Angela Merkel’s 16-year-old tenure ends, Flasbarth said he would miss her.
“I have to say that she has been leading the country in a very inclusive way. She was popular also outside the close conservative group of voters,” he said. “After 16 years, now it is time for change.”