11:45 GMT +323 February 2018
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    German flags wave in front of the Reichstag building, host of the German Federal Parliament Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany. (File)

    Meet Kevin Kühnert, German Politician Who Could Derail Grand Coalition Plans

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    The 28-year old leader of the Social Democratic Party's (SPD) youth wing, the Jusos, strongly opposes the idea of a new coalition between the two major German parties, the CDU and SPD, and is ready to take decisive steps to prevent such a scenario.

    Kevin Kühnert, a German university student and ambitious Social Democrat, is viewed as a person who could potentially disrupt the formation of a German government and even trigger new parliamentary elections in the country, Deutsche Welle wrote.

    Although the media source noted that Kühnert is "unlikely to lead a political revolution," he still has certain levers that could help him to implement his views.

    The SPD's special convention in Bonn on Sunday will provide him with a good opportunity to do so, as the delegates that are set to take part in the conference will have a chance to approve formal coalition negotiations with Merkel's CDU party or stop them completely.

    READ MORE: Key Preliminary Outcomes of the German Coalition Talks

    So far, there have been only preliminary talks to form a grand coalition. The negotiations have been viewed as successful by both parties, as they managed to achieve a breakthrough that had been seen as almost impossible.

    However, Kühnert doesn't seem to believe that the results of the talks are something one should be happy about.

    "You can't find anyone [within the party] who's excited about entering into another grand coalition," Kühnert said, cited by DW.

    According to him, the SPD should return to its initial left-wing principles, which have been sacrificed for the sake of reaching a political compromise.

    "The SPD is in a nasty situation," Kühnert said. "No matter what we do, some people are going to feel affronted."

    The 600 delegates that will take part in Sunday's upcoming conference will include 80 to 90 Jusos. If the majority votes no, it could mean that Germany will face new parliamentary elections, and "most certainly the resignation of SPD chairman and former European Parliament President Martin Schulz and, conceivably, the end of Merkel's chancellorship," DW wrote.

    Germany is witnessing a political crisis, as talks to form a new government collapsed in November 2017, after the Free Democratic Party (FDP) withdrew from negotiations on forming the so called "Jamaica coalition" with the CDU/CSU and the Greens. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party is now trying to renew a grand coalition with the Social Democrats led by Martin Schulz.

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    Tags:
    coalition, government, talks, Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), SPD, Germany
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