Election Results in Germany

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Election Results in Germany

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Angela Merkel’s fourth term as chancellor was marred by the rise of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, winning 13% of the vote on Sunday, entering parliament for the first time post-WW II.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) alliance got only 33% of the vote, its worst showing since 1949 – compared to 41.5% in 2013.

Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SDP) finished second with 20.5%, a post-WW II low. Putting a brave face on her party’s dismal result, Merkel said “(w)e are the strongest party. We we have the mandate to build the next government, and there cannot be a coalition government built against us.”

Nearly half of German voters rejected the two major parties, dominating the country’s politics since WW II.

Coalition-building won’t be easy. SPD leader Martin Schulz said his party won’t rejoin the so-called “grand” one with the CDU and CSU. Instead, it’ll become its main opposition.

Germany’s parliament will now include members of six parties instead of four. Die Zeit publisher/editor Josef Joffe said Sunday’s result marks a “tectonic shift in German politics,” a likely three-party CDU-led coalition, he believes, with Merkel remaining chancellor to be “highly unstable.”

AfD co-founder Alexander Gauland said his party will “hunt” the new government whatever its new makeup, adding “(w)e’ll get our country and our people back.”

France’s Marine Le Pen tweeted: “Bravo to our AfD allies for this historic showing.” Party spokesman, academic/politician Jorg Meuthen maintained its anti-immigration policy is racist, saying “(w)e will neither tolerate xenophobia or racist positions.” Party leaders deny being Nazi sympathizers.

The hard-right Free Democratic Party (FDP) appears Merkel’s best coalition option, short of majority rule without a third partner, the Greens a slim possibility, a party that long ago abandoned its anti-establishment leftist agenda.

At this point, nothing is certain. Surprises are possible. Election results showed Germany becoming more hardline, the right-wing AfD and FDP the only parties gaining strength – at the expense of the CDU/CSU and SDP.

Despite her party’s dismal showing, Merkel becomes the third German leader to serve four terms as chancellor – Konrad Adenauer (1949 – 1963) and Helmet Kohl (1982 – 1998), Merkel’s mentor, the other two.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.