The leader of the Social Democrats in Germany Franz Muentefering is likely to become the minister for labour and also vice-chancellor in the country’s next government.
Herr Muentefering will give up his present position as leader of the Social Democrats SPD in parliament and the current defence minister, Peter Struck will take over that job.
Franz-Walter Steinmeier, a close ally of Gerhard Schroeder and head of his chancellery office, has been named by the Social Democrats as Germany’s next foreign minister.
Although Angela Merkel will head the new administration, her powers as chancellor of German’s main left and right wing parties are likely to be limited. Her role in holding them together will probably be different to that of the head of a totally united government.