Germany elects Angela Merkel’s successor

(Berlin) Angela Merkel’s successor will be held on Sunday in Germany, where voters will vote in the parliamentary elections to decide a close match between Social Democrats and Conservatives after 16 years as Chancellor.

Posted on Sep 26, 2021 at 7:36 am

Sophie MAKRIS with Yann Schreiber in the Aachen agency France-Presse

In this completely uncertain vote, the Social Democrats (SPD) are slightly ahead with 25%, the Conservatives with 22 to 23%, a historically low figure according to final surveys.

“I will still vote, but this year it will be exciting to know who it will be,” said Ursula Becker, a 62-year-old voter in Aachen.

In this West German city, Armin Laschet, the center-right candidate who is fighting for the Chancellery, voted in the late morning.


CDU chief Armin Laschet

“Every vote counts”, launched the CDU boss, because he was on the “direction of Germany for the next few years”.

His main rival, the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, who was elected in Potsdam not far from Berlin, wished for brilliant times “a good sign” for the center-left craftsmen since the summer of an unexpected rise.


The chairman of the Social Democrats, Olaf Scholz

Around 60.4 million voters have until 6 p.m. (12 p.m. EDT) to vote for their MPs, and around 40 percent said they were undecided a few days before this crucial vote for Europe’s largest economy.

The prognosis is made more difficult by the weight of the postal vote, which is favored by many voters, including Angela Merkel, 67, who will leave the political scene after four terms in office.


The name of the future chancellor and the composition of his likely majority run the risk of not being known by Sunday evening, and long negotiations will be necessary in the coming months to form the future team in power. With the risk of European paralysis by the first quarter of 2022.

After staying away from election campaigns, the Chancellor multiplied the rallies in order to put her popularity, always at its peak, at the service of Armin Laschet.


Chancellor Angela Merkel campaigned alongside Armin Laschet in Aachen on Saturday.

Long at the top in terms of voting intentions, the Christian Democrats are in danger of falling below the symbolic 30 percent mark for the first time since 1949.

In addition to the erosion of power, the conservative union suffered from the poor election campaign of its clumsy and unpopular candidate.

The mistakes of his opponents paired with the almost flawless Olaf Scholz, 63-year-old finance minister, have revived a condemned SPD.

The medium-sized company, former Mayor of Hamburg, does not hesitate to present himself as a true heir to Ms. Merkel, even in the gestures.

If Armin Laschet, President of the largest region in North Rhine-Westphalia, has the reputation of getting back on his feet again and again, the march for the 60-year-old journalist seems very high this time.


However, the scarecrow of a left coalition hounded by the conservatives could mobilize the undecided.

Hagen Bartels, 64, hoped on Sunday at a polling station in Berlin for a “surprise that the first party is not the SPD, but the CDU”.

The Greens should be satisfied with third place with around 17%.

This value would be historic for the Greens, who have only exceeded the 10% mark in 2009. But it would leave them a bitter aftertaste because they were still at the top of the polls in April, in a Germany concerned about climate change. a topic that particularly mobilizes young people.

“This is really a very important issue for me because I think it will have a huge impact on my life in the future,” said Maite Hoppenz, an 18-year-old voter who first came to the polls on Sunday.

The chairwoman of the Greens, Annalena Baerbock, 40, multiplied the hiccups between allegations of plagiarism and undeclared bonuses before the summer.


Green leader Annalena Baerbock

“The Greens got off to a strong start and then, as always, are falling behind,” said Manuel Gosse, a 35-year-old voter, disappointed in Berlin on Sunday.

The Greens want to participate in the government, if possible with the Social Democrats. For the first time since the 1950s, however, the support of a third party is said to be necessary.

The liberals of the FDP are already appearing as potential “kingmakers”.

The radical left The left seems ready to participate, but has to give up its criticism of NATO first.

The right-wing extremist AfD, which entered the Bundestag for the first time four years ago, is expected to confirm its parliamentary anchoring with around 10 percent, but remains excluded from a possible coalition.

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