10 Dec 2013

Party members voting on German coalition

12:39 pm on 10 December 2013

Christian Democrat party members in Germany are voting on whether to approve a coalition with the Social Democrats after Chancellor Angela Merkel urged them to back the deal.

The CDU party won a election in September, but fell short of an outright majority following the collpase of its junior partner, the Free Democrats.

Mrs Merkel says it has taken nearly three months to form a government and it is now time to get to work.

Mrs Merkel says she believes the compromises made to form the coalition are acceptable.

"The negotiations weren't easy for us," she acknowledged in a speech on Monday. "The important thing is that I can say that with this agreement people in Germany will be better off in 2017 than they are now."

All 474,000 SPD members are now voting in a postal ballot and the results are expected this weekend.