German Chancellor Angela Merkel has failed to form a three-way coalition with her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), the Greens, and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), bringing up the possibility of new parliamentary elections.
On November 20, Christian Lindner, head of the FDP, said negotiations had collapsed due to a failure to establish trust between the negotiating parties.
"It is better not to govern than to govern badly," Lindner said.
Merkel expressed her regrets over the FDP’s decision to withdraw from coalition talks.
"We believed we were on a path where an agreement could have been reached," Merkel told reporters in Berlin.
She added she would meet President Frank-Walter Steinmeier later on November 20 to inform him of the situation.
The center-left Social Democrats (SPD) ruled out returning to a coalition with Merkel -- and the chancellor herself said she would not lead a minority government, raising the possibility of new elections being called.
Steinmeier has the power to call new elections, but some German leaders have expressed concerns that another vote could lead to the far-right AfD gaining even more than the 13 percent it garnered in the previous election.
One of the key issues of talks involved immigration.
Merkel's liberal policy allowed some 1.2 million refugees to enter the country since 2015, which likely pushed some voters to the far-right AfD party.