Scholz of SPD wins third TV debate as German elections draw closer

  • Germans go to the polls on Sept 26
  • Candidates clash on issue of minimum wage
  • Latest poll puts SPD at 26%, CDU/CSU at 21%

FRANKFURT/BERLIN, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Social Democrat Olaf Scholz brushed off An last-gasp for breath attack his conservative rival in a televised election debate on Sunday, strengthening its position as a front runner to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel after Germans go to the polls in a week.

The debate, the last of three ahead of Germany’s national election planned for September 26 comes as busy on the conservative Christian Democratic Union party candidate Armin Laschet stepped up to close a gap in polls die have consistently posted it behind Scholz of the SPD.

Scholz, who serves as finance minister, used the issue of social to scourge inequality out with him main opponent, reiterating that as chancellor he would pass a minimum wage of 12 euros ($14.08) per hour, something the CDU is against.

“Mr. Laschet, that might be the difference between you and me. I’m not doing that because there are elections.” campaign straight away. I have made this demand for years,” Scholz said.

“For me it’s about dignity of burgers. However, that’s what might set it apart us on this issue.”

A quick poll shortly after the event, die also including Annalena Baerbock of the Greens and featured issues ranging from climate change to digitization and security, Scholz explained as winner, give him a clean slate in the series of debates.

Previously an INSA poll for Bild am Sonntag had set the SPD at 26% support, stable from a week ago, while the conservative block of Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union and her Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, added half one percentage point to come in at 21%.

The gap has widened in polls die measure popularity of the individual chancellor candidates, met indication of the increase struggle Laschet is facing against Scholz forward of the election.

Laschet has been under fire since he was caught on camera smile while visiting in the summer to a flood- affected city.

FRAGMENTED PHOTO

Current Polls, die show a highly fragmented picture as voters increasingly flock to smaller parties, leave room for multiple coalition scenarios, turning the liberal free democrats into a potential king maker role in expectant coalition talk. read more

FDP party Chef Christian Lindner on Sunday rejected demands from the CDU to rule out a so-called traffic light coalition with the SPD and the Greens. “We will not take orders from this (CDU),” he told a party event.

Meanwhile, Scholz on Sunday expressed his preference for An coalition with the Greens, die current polls at 15%.

Merkel’s chef of staff had called before on all parties agree soon on who should succeed her after the elections and avoid the kind of long lasting coalition conversations die followed the last vote four years ago.

The probability of long coalition conversations after the vote means Merkel is not leaving office every moment soon. They remains chancellor to a majority of Bundestag lawmakers choose successor who is then sworn in in. read more

“Mine wish is for a quick government formation,” Helge Braun told Reuters, adding that although the… current government would continue to rule while looming coalition conversations there were certain restrictions over the scope of leadership.

“So I warn against losing time due to a very long government formation. One can certainly ask for the parties to quickly express their preferences after the elections over what their favorite coalitions are – so that one does not lose time endlessly in discussions.”

There are no formal restrictions on Merkel’s powers until a successor is chosen, but she’s a consensus-seeker and previous chancellors haven’t taken radically decisions during this period.

follow Germany last general election in 2017, it is took An record six months before the new government was sworn in in.

($1 = 0.8525 euros)

Additional reporting by Andreas Rinke and Alexander Ratz; Editing by David Clarke, Nick Macfie and Diane Craft

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Read More: World News

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