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While many DW-WORLD readers seem willing to give CDU leader Angela Merkel a chance as chancellor, opinions on the best governing coalition diverge.
Will she replace him?
The following comments reflect the views of our readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.
I know Germany has different way and rules projecting your winner in an election. However, in a democratic country like the US, whoever gets the majority vote is the winner. Merkel in my opinion is the winner because she got most of the people's vote -- 1 percent more votes makes a big difference. Schröder should concede defeat as a real gentleman and politician. His being in power for seven years has done nothing for your 5 million unemployed German people. Another five or six-year term under him will be disastrous. -- Marie, US
I think Merkel is good for the European Union, but she will not be as effective as former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, because of so much energy being spent on who rules when and why. Germans need to look at their method of creating a chancellor. I thought a stalemate like this could only happen in this country (Gore vs. Bush). From across the Atlantic it looks like a third candidate would be best -- too much to do about nothing! -- Elisabeth Heptner, US
It's absolute nonsense to say that Schröder should relinquish his claim to be chancellor. The left-of-center parties won 51 percent of the vote, the right-of-center only 44 percent. It would be crazy, and anti-democratic, to have a righ-twing chancellor under those circumstances. --Richard Pond
I would like to see Merkel become Chancellor for two reasons: First, reforms are greatly needed in Germany to deal with the stagnant level of economic growth that Germany has been facing under Schröder, and secondly, US-German relations are at an all time low since Schröder has been chancellor. Much of this is attributed to Schröder's anti-American comments. Merket would improve ties and Germany and the United States can return to more collaborative relationship. -- Christian Tyrrell
Schröder and Merkel
Angela Merkel is like a breath of fresh air from the male-dominated, macho German politicians with her calm, reasonable rationale and firmness. If Germany "thinks" it is a liberal and progressive country they should prove it with the instalment of Angela Merkel as its next chancellor. The country will be much better served I am sure. -- Francis Tsai
Schröder is the man in charge. Merkel lacks the charisma and the strength of character that Germany needs during this time when there are so many issues to be resolved. She lacks the will and also the support of the people of Germany in general. The country needs a leader who can lead the country with a strong determination that is reminiscent of Germany's rise after World War II. Schröder has shown that it is the fine things in politics that matter more than just the historic feeling backing the euphoria created by Merkel's party. -- Kavreet Bhangu
Merkel did receive more votes than any of her competitors. Perhaps the final decision should be delayed to ensure the voting in Dresden doesn't change the final totals but otherwise she has won, fair and square. -- Richard Hollis
It is clear that Angela Merkel should not be underestimated. Whether she has the ability to create a coalition that will put her in power is left to be seen. If the conservatives can arrange a coalition, Germany would find itself with a leader that can think clearly under pressure and can articulate a position far better than some other leaders of the world. Without a clear mandate from the voters, Merkel would be forced to play a more moderate role, but might have the cunning to lead a few initiatives necessary for Germany to once again show its dominance in European politics and economics. -- Steve Borgerding
Germany's next governing coalition
The best coalition? Schröder, the Greens and the FDP. The FDP has some good ideas, might provide some innovation and new blood. Also they might themselves grow from the responsibility of being in government. Merkel has shown that she is incompetent both as a leader and as a political and technical strategist. I can't imagine why anyone would want her around anymore. -- Caitlin Curtin, US
In my opinion, a grand coalition will be the best. They should put forth the positive points of their respective agendas and work together. It would hardly matter who the chancellor is then except for the people who like either of the two but not for the country in general? The cause would be the same. -- Peer Zada
I don't think that a grand coalition would benefit Germany. Coalitions call for compromise and much talk without results. I consider the SPD the best choice for Germans to make. -- John Zalas, US
I believe a coalition between CDU/CSU, the FDP and the Greens would serve the country best. If the business sector supports the CDU/CSU, I expect this is a good indication that they have confidence in the CDU/CSU to do good things for German business. If German business does well, they will need to employ more people. Business creates jobs, not political parties. I truly believe this would be a well rounded coalition, capable of moving Germany in forward in a progressive and responsible manner. -- Norm Barmeier, Canada
A "Jamaica coalition" of CDU, FDP and Greens is highly unlikely.
I think a Jamaica coalition is possible. It depends on the Greens. They claim they are for the environment first. They also seem to be socialist-oriented. If they remain true to their environment beliefs and let CDU/CSU and Social Democrats handle the social issues, they would be a good partner in a possible coalition. -- Robert R. Nelson, US
I would like to see the SPD lead a coalition with the Greens and the Left Party. Germans are unhappy with SPD neo-liberal reforms, and so a left-wing counterweight would direct the government towards more popular (and just) policies. The decline in CDU support demonstrates Germans do not want a conservative government. John S. Partington, Britain
Germany has an opportunity to be governed by a grand coalition. Perhaps this is the only way forward. It may force them to work together on the basis of consensus rather than confrontation. -- Fred Rathje, Canada
Germany is ready for change, but not with the political dinosaurs emerged from the post-WWII political order. New ideas and faces will come. Some anarchy is needed to liberate Germans from the shackle of benefits and improve their sex life. -- Emma Storr, London
A supporter of the new Left Party celebrates on election day.
The only logical and just coalition for Germany is an SPD-Greens-Left Party coalition, based on election results. The statesmanship and political talent of Chancellor Schröder will be decided on this very issue, if this new coalition can be made. Arrogance and intolerance towards the New Left Party will only lead to failure. Why isn't anybody listening to the German People? The election message is clear: They want Schröder to continue, but only if he understands his reform ideas needs to be revamped, social justice is just as important as economic viability. -- Zoltan Mayer, Hungary