Germany’s outgoing chancellor, Angela Merkel, has congratulated Finance Minister Olaf Scholz on the victory of his Social Democratic Party (SPD) in the parliamentary elections, the German government said on Wednesday.
“The Chancellor congratulated Olaf Scholz on Monday on his election success,” the statement said.
Bavarian premier Markus Soeder, leader of the Christian Social Union, publicly congratulated Scholz on Tuesday, unlike Christian Democratic Union leader Armin Laschet, illustrating a growing rift in the ruling CDU/CSU bloc.
Scholz’s SPD won 25.7% of the vote in Sunday’s hard-fought general election, while Merkel’s center-right CDU/CSU bloc slumped to a record-low of 24.1%, which is the worst result in its seven-decade history. The Greens and the Free Democratic Party came in third and fourth, respectively, followed by the far-right Alternative for Germany and the Left. The parties are testing the waters for possible coalition formation.