An agreement on ministries on Wednesday, after Negotiations between

After marathon negotiations between German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU-CSU bloc and Martin Schulz’s centre-left SPD, the two sides hammered out a deal early Wednesday morning to form a new coalition government.

Negotiations to form a grand coalition – known as GroKro in German – have dragged on far longer than expected as the two sides worked to iron out the details about the composition of the next German government.

According to participants in the negotiations. the breakthrough came after the two sides agreed that the SPD will oversee the Finance, Foreign Affairs, Family, Justice, Environment, and Labour ministries. The leader of the Bavarian wing of Merkel’s CDU, Horst Seehofer, will become interior minister and the CDU will have oversight for the defence and economics ministries.

The SPD will have to vote the deal before it can be officially finalised. If the vote is successful – as it is expected to be – Merkel will be able to head a government that has been trying to form a coalition since September’s general elections.

Merkel had hoped to partner with the Free Democrats and Greens, but talks over the makeup of the government collapsed in November. Shultz and the SPD had vowed to stay out of another coalition with the CDU but later reversed course to form a new GroKro.