Germany's Social Democratic Party will hold talks with the third- and fourth-largest parties in the parliament in a bid to form a coalition government.
In September's federal election, the center-left Social Democrats won most seats, followed by the center-right coalition of the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union.
Both the SPD and the CDU/CSU failed to gain a majority and are reaching out to the environmentalist Green Party and the center-right Free Democratic Party to form a coalition government.
The Greens and the Free Democrats on Wednesday expressed their intention to negotiate with the Social Democrats. They will hold talks on Thursday.
The SPD's Olaf Scholz will likely become Germany's next chancellor if a "traffic-light" coalition -- so called due to the three parties' colors -- is realized.
Scholz said on Wednesday that it is important to build a new government to move the country forward.
But the third- and fourth-largest parties do not rule out the possibility of a coalition with the second finisher in the election.
Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to retire from politics after remaining in the post until a new government is launched.