Gerhard Schroeder has been explaining why he wants to bring elections forward by one year.
At a special cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the German Chancellor laid out the grounds for calling a confidence vote that he actually wants to lose on Friday.
The country’s complicated system means that to bring elections forward to mid September this year, the chancellor has to lose a vote of confidence before the president can dissove parliament.
Some government MPs say they could never vote against him. Others say they willabstain to make sure the government loses the motion.
The chancellor has told his colleagues that early elections are necessary if the government wants to operate effectively.
The country faces a political deadlock created by a succession of state election defeats for Schroeder.