German SPD Secretary-General says we have mandate to govern

Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) secretary general Lars Klingbeil poses at the event location CityCube Berlin one day before a party meeting in Berlin, Germany, May 8, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/Pool

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Social Democrat Secretary-General Lars Klingbeil said on Sunday his party had a mandate to form a coalition after exit polls showed the SPD neck and neck with outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc.

"The SPD has the mandate to govern. We want Olaf Scholz to be chancellor," said Klingbeil shortly after first exit polls. He said the exit polls put the SPD ahead.

An exit poll for broadcaster ARD showed SPD and conservatives tied while other polls showed SPD marginally ahead.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

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