Aachen (AP) – In the final sprint of the federal elections, outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) again campaigned for Union chancellor candidate Armin Laschet and voted for the CDU and CSU.
“Tomorrow, Germany must remain stable,” Merkel said on Saturday during the last election campaign appearance with Laschet in her hometown of Aachen. “And it doesn’t matter who runs Germany.”
That is why she said: “Both vote for the CDU”. In the context of the poor poll numbers for the Union, Merkel called for: “And the second (vote) for Armin Laschet, so that Armin Laschet can become Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.”
Laschet warns against the left
Laschet again warned against the left’s participation in a federal government. “We need a stable government,” said the Federal President of the CDU. The left wants to get out of NATO and “another republic”. He predicts that “if there is a majority for the red-red-green tomorrow, they will.” Therefore, the last hours should be used to signal to everyone: “If you want stability in Germany, the CDU / CSU must be in first place tomorrow.
At the same time, Laschet asserted that the Union would neither speak nor cooperate with the AfD. “They have to disappear from parliaments all over Germany because they arouse resentment, because they pit people against each other.”
The Union and its candidate for Chancellor Laschet are under immense pressure ahead of Sunday’s elections. Merkel will not be running after 16 years in office. Given the large number of undecided voters, the election result is considered open. In the polls, the SPD was last able to maintain its leadership, but in some cases only very closely. According to the polling institute, it was 25 to 26% – and therefore one to four percentage points ahead of the Union. The Greens with their candidate for Chancellor Annalena Baerbock are in third place in the polls.
Merkel praises Laschet
Merkel praised Laschet’s leadership style and his contribution to the unification of Europe. As Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, he successfully led. Wherever he “stands and goes, wherever he has spoken to us”, he has also spoken of the unification of the European Union. Laschet’s actions are shaped by “building bridges and bringing people with you”. He has shown in all his political life that he defends solidarity and the CDU, not only theoretically, “but with passion and heart”.
Around 700 visitors to the rally celebrated the Aachen politician under a bright sun with cries “Armin, Armin” and cries “Armin Laschet becomes chancellor”. But there were also heckling calls from opponents. For Laschet as chancellor, there is still “a lot of work,” Merkel said. Unemployment has indeed fallen. But 2.4 million unemployed are still too many.
Laschet attacked the SPD and the Greens and called for more speed in the expansion of renewable energies. Approval procedures should also be speeded up for this. “We are too slow in Germany,” he said. “If we are to achieve the 1.5 degree target, we need faster and faster planning and approval processes.” Every next federal government must do it. “As Federal Chancellor, I am personally committed to picking up the pace here,” he promised.
The SPD accused Laschet of having been for 50 years the “coal party par excellence” in North Rhine-Westphalia and of now claiming to be “at the forefront of the environmental movement”. He also warned against “ideological experiments” in economic policy in the event of an SPD election victory. This means that “everything we have built in the past 16 years will be lost”.
This Sunday, citizens will decide on the composition of the next Bundestag – and therefore indirectly also of the next federal government. About 60.4 million citizens are called to vote. This time, as many as ever before are expected to have voted by mail. Along with the federal elections, a new Land parliament is elected in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, and the Land of Berlin has the House of Representatives.
In public opinion polls for the federal election, Laschets Union was recently slightly behind the SPD with chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz. The SPD came in at 25 to 26 percent, the Union at 22 to 25. In third place were the Greens with 16 to 17 percent. It is followed by the FDP (10.5 to 12%), the AfD (10) and the Left (5 to 6).
However, opinion polls are just snapshots of political mood and say nothing about the outcome of the election. This is even more true for this election due to the large number of voters still undecided.