From Black to Orange SPIEGEL ONLINE's Guide to German Political Parties

The Reichstag, Germany's parliament building in Berlin.

The Reichstag, Germany's parliament building in Berlin.

Part 4: Free Democratic Party (FDP)

The Free Democratic Party is a pro-business party that promotes the free market economy and individual liberty. Its critics call it the party of the privileged few, an image the party has failed dramatically to dispel in the last four years as junior partner in the center-right coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives. The FDP, riven by infighting, has suffered a string of regional election defeats and an opinion poll slide so dramatic that there is some doubt whether it will even surpass the five-percent threshold needed to get back into parliament. Its current leader, Vietnamese-born Philipp Rösler, has survived repeated attempts to unseat him. Founded in 1948, the FDP has been "kingmaker" to both the SPD and the CDU, serving as junior partner in coalitions with them, and it has participated in the federal government for a total of 45 years, more than any other party.

Color used to represent party: Yellow


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