Germany coalition deal to bring Scholz to power

A coalition deal reached in Germany after two months of discussions is poised to have the Social Democratic Party's Olaf Scholz replace Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In September's federal election, the center-left Social Democrats won most seats, followed by the center-right alliance of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union.

Failing to win a majority, the SDP had been negotiating coalition talks with the environmentalist Greens and pro-business Free Democratic Party, which took third and fourth place, respectively.

The representatives of the three parties jointly met reporters on Wednesday to announce they have reached a deal to form a coalition government.

With the announcement, Scholz, who is currently finance minister, is expected to succeed Merkel to bring an end to her 16-year leadership.

The three parties have agreed to raise the minimum hourly wage to 12 euros. They seek to bring forward the deadline for ending the use of coal-fueled power from 2038 to 2030.

On the diplomatic front, the new government is to take up what it calls China's human rights abuses.

The coalition has been dubbed a "traffic light" owing to their party colors of red, green and yellow.

Scholz expressed hopes that the traffic light alliance will play a "groundbreaking role" for Germany, "providing the right orientation and ensuring that everyone moves forward safely and smoothly."