BERLIN (AP) — Germany's pro-business Free Democrats on Monday became the last of three parties to back the start of formal coalition talks on forming a new government.
The Free Democrats leader, Christian Lindner, said the party's national executive unanimously agreed to take the step following weeks of informal talks with the center-left Social Democrats and the environmentalist Greens.
Lindner said the three parties hadn't sought each other out ahead of the Sept. 26 election, “to put it diplomatically.”
“It's also no surprise that there are big differences on matters of substance,” he said, adding that those involved would need show “a lot of tolerance and willingness to think anew. Therein lies a chance, though, to do good things for our country."
In the election, the Social Democrats came first, ahead of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Union bloc, and the Greens and Free Democrats came third and fourth. Merkel will stay on as a caretaker leader until Germany's new coalition government is in place.
Follow AP’s coverage of Germany’s transition to a new government at https://apnews.com/hub/germany-election