- Title: Germany's Scholz casts his vote amid tight leadership race
- Date: 26th September 2021
- Summary: POTSDAM, GERMANY (SEPTEMBER 26, 2021) (REUTERS) SPD CHANCELLOR CANDIDATE OLAF SCHOLZ AND HIS WIFE BRITTA ERNST 2 ARRIVING TO VOTE VARIOUS OF SCHOLZ VOTING CAMERAPERSON SCHOLZ DROPPING BALLOT IN BOX AND LEAVING SCHOLZ LEAVING BUILDING AND APPROACHING MEDIA MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (German) SPD CHANCELLOR CANDIDATE OLAF SCHOLZ SAYING: "It's a nice day today, the weather is a very good sign. I hope that as many citizens as possible go to vote, cast their ballot and make possible what's on the horizon - particularly, a strong result for the SPD and that the citizens task me with being the next chancellor of Germany. Good day." AACHEN, GERMANY (SEPTEMBER 26, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF POLLING STATION ENVELOPE / PEOPLE VOTING BALLOT BOX VARIOUS OF PEOPLE VOTING PEOPLE WAITING TO VOTE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE VOTING
- Embargoed: 10th October 2021 09:28
- Keywords: German election Germany Olaf Scholz SPD Scholz voting election
- Location: POTSDAM & AACHEN, GERMANY
- City: POTSDAM & AACHEN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Europe,Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001EWCU3BB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Social Democrat chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz cast his ballot in his constituency of Potsdam near Berlin on Sunday (September 26), urging voters to deliver a "strong result" for his party.
In a national election that is too close to call, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) mounting a strong challenge to retiring Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.
Merkel has been in power since 2005 but plans to step down after the election, making the vote an era-changing event to set the future course of Europe's largest economy.
A fractured electorate means that after the election, leading parties will sound each other out before embarking on more formal coalition negotiations that could take months, leaving Merkel, 67, in charge in a caretaker role.
Scholz, 63, the finance minister in Merkel's right-left coalition who won all three televised debates between the leading candidates.
He has not ruled out a leftist alliance with The Left but said NATO membership was a red line for the SPD.
Scholz told supporters that he was still hoping the SPD and Greens would secure a majority to rule alone without a third partner.
After a domestic-focused election campaign, Berlin's allies in Europe and beyond may have to wait for months before they can see whether the new German government is ready to engage on foreign issues to the extent they would like.
The splintered political landscape means a three-way coalition is likely. Final opinion polls gave the Social Democrats a narrow lead, but the conservatives have reduced the gap in recent days and many voters were still undecided.
The most likely coalition scenarios see either the SPD or the conservative CDU/CSU bloc - whoever comes first - forming an alliance with the Greens and the liberal Free Democrats (FDP).
(Production: Holger Koerner, Stefan Remter, Leon Malherbe, Gabi Sajonz, Barbara Woolsey)
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