Meet Olaf Scholz, the man who might replace Angela Merkel as Germany’s next chancellor
Olaf Scholz, the German Finance Minister, may have the best shot at forming a new German government after leading the Social Democratic Party of Germany into a narrow victory in Sunday’s parliamentary elections. The party won 25.7% of the vote over the weekend, while former leader Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union took 24.1%. The tight results mean that Scholz has a small chance at becoming the next chancellor of Germany, however, it does place him in the strongest position to begin coalition talks with the Green Party, which boasted 14% of the votes and the Free Democratic Party who captured 11.5% of the vote.
Scholz is widely regarded as a pragmatist, practicing a political style not incredibly different from that of Merkel. Although the two hail from rival parties, they are similar in many ways including in their steady and calm demeanors. Scholz is a moderate within his party as SPD leadership is mostly leftist leaning and initially did not support him. Scholz was born in former West Germany and has previously served as the Labor and Social Affairs minister and as the mayor of Hamburg.