Merkel’s CDU Fails to Find Coalition Ally in Saarland, DPA Says

The efforts of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party to avert new elections in the state of Saarland by sharing power with the opposition Social Democrats failed, the Deutsche Presse-Agentur said.

Merkel’s Christian Democrats have sought new partners in the state, one of Germany’s smallest, after a coalition with the Free Democrats collapsed this month. CDU state Prime Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said she would seek an alliance with the SPD to hold on to power.

The efforts crumbled today, DPA reported, citing comments made by Kramp-Karrenbauer and SPD leader Heiko Maas in the state’s capital Saarbruecken. Their respective press departments didn’t return calls to confirm the talks failed.

The collapse of the coalition in Germany’s smallest state that isn’t one of three cities highlights Merkel’s own woes with the FDP, her partner in the federal coalition. Voter support has slumped for the business-friendly FDP to below 5 percent, the threshold for qualifying for parliament in national elections.

Germany’s next national election is due in the fall of 2013.