By GEIR MOULSON and FRANK JORDANS
BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s next chancellor says he will back a proposal to mandate coronavirus vaccinations for everybody next year. But he said Tuesday that lawmakers should be free to vote according to their conscience on the issue. Center-left leader Olaf Scholz is expected to take office next week once his party and two others approve a deal to form the next government. The two-month transition, with outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel as caretaker, has been blamed for Germany’s slow response to the latest surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. He spoke to public broadcaster ARD after a conference call between Merkel, himself and the governors of Germany’s 16 states, at which new measures to curb the pandemic where discussed.