Germany has slipped into a period of political unpredictability after the Social Democrats’ narrow win in general elections left it facing a rival claim to power from outgoing Chancellor Merkel’s conservative camp.
Despite getting its worst-ever result in a federal contest, the Union bloc says it too would reach out to smaller parties to discuss forming a government, while Angela Merkel stays on in a caretaker role until a successor is sworn in.
SDP leader Martin Schulz says his party has not yet agreed to negotiate a new coalition with Merkel, as reported in Germany's "Bild" newspaper.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's party seeks decisive victory in North Rhine-Westphalia, a bellwether state, against centre-left Social Democratic Party, four months before the national elections.
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