CHANCELLOR Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats are embarking on what they hope is their last round of talks on forming a new German government, although negotiations could last for up to two days.

The effort to stitch together a governing coalition has already lasted longer than any negotiations since before the Second World War, and will not finish with these talks.

A deal will require approval in a ballot of the Social Democrats’ members.

The two sides set Sunday as a deadline to wrap up negotiations, though they have budgeted two extra days as a precaution.

Senior Social Democrat, Manuela Schwesig, said on Sunday that “many questions remain open”.

She argued there is no point in pushing for a quick finish only to have party members ask a week later: “What nonsense did they negotiate?”

Merkel remains the country’s chancellor in an acting capacity more than four months since the election as she tentatively moves towards completing her second attempt to form a coalition government.

To secure a fourth stint as chancellor, Merkel is relying on Social Democrats accepting a junior partner position.