publish date 2021-09-27 08:21:46
Provisional official results announced that Germany’s Social Democrats won Sunday’s legislative elections with 25.7% of the vote, but the country is preparing for a long period of uncertainty over the issue of the chancellor’s succession.
The conservative camp received 24.1% of the vote, the worst result in its history, while the Green Party came third with 14.8%, followed by the Free Democratic Party with 11.5%.
Merkel’s conservatives have slipped to a historic low, tarnishing the chancellor’s planned political retirement.
Polls before the provisional official results indicated that the Social Democrats led by Olaf Schultz came in first place with between 25.9 and 26 percent of the vote, slightly ahead of the conservative Christian Democrats led by Armin Laschet, who came second with between 24.1% and 24.5 % of the votes according to polls upon exit from the polling stations.
For Schultz, the message is clear: “Citizens want change, they want the SPD candidate to be the next chancellor,” he said after the first results came out.
The Social Democratic candidate stated that “what is certain is that many citizens” voted for his party because they “want to change the government.”
The Conservatives, despite their “disappointing” result, plan to join the next government, said Armin Laschet, who spoke with Merkel.
“We will do everything in our power to build a government that is led” by the Conservatives, said the Christian Democrat candidate.
The voter turnout for the Conservative Party has never fallen below the 30% threshold. In 2017, he won 32.8% of the vote.
In a sign of the conservatives’ historic retreat, the Social Democrats won the district in which Merkel has been elected as a deputy since 1990.
The final results, looming on Germany’s horizon, point to an unexpected rebirth for the Social Democratic Party, which was moribund a few months ago. The results were greeted with glee at the party’s headquarters in Berlin.
The Social Democrats, as well as the Conservatives, hoped to form a coalition government “before Christmas”.
It is certain that Christian Democrats suffer an unprecedented setback that will lead to internal turmoil and promise a complex succession for Merkel.
A result of less than 30% would be a “disaster” for them, according to the daily Bild.
This setback casts a shadow over the end of the Merkel era, whose popularity remained at its peak after four terms, but proved unable to prepare for her succession.
Absent from the scene are the Green Party and its candidate, Annalina Birbock, who has won, according to opinion polls, between 14% and 15% of the vote. But there is reason to be satisfied, as he broke the record he set in 2009 when he received 10.7% of the vote.
It seems that the liberals of the Free Democratic Party, who came fourth with about 12% of the vote, is the main “king maker” for building a future alliance.
The far-right AfD, whose entry into the Bundestag was the most prominent event in the previous elections in 2017, confirms its roots in the German political scene. But with between 10% and 11% of the vote, the party that has been undermined by internal conflicts has fallen slightly compared to what it was four years ago (12.6%).
If the trend is confirmed, Schulz, the hawkish vice chancellor and finance minister in the outgoing government, has chances to succeed Merkel, the 16-year-old chancellor, and initiate the “change” he promised at the end of the election campaign.
However, this centrist Social Democrat would have to put together a three-party coalition, a precedent in contemporary German history.
Therefore, negotiations are likely to last months, much to the chagrin of partners of Europe’s largest economy, who fear the EU will be paralyzed until early 2022.
The Green Party, which during the election campaign made no secret of its willingness to enter a social democratic government, may be part of the negotiations.
The other possible partner is the “Left” party (Die Linke), which according to these polls won about 5% of the vote, but it is not guaranteed that it will exceed this threshold and thus save its group in the Bundestag.
Schultz was open to discussions with these two parties on almost every subject.
Negotiations may last several months, thus delaying the actual departure of Merkel, 67, of whom she has spent more than 30 in the political fray.
But the conservatives themselves have not said their last word. Their unpopular leader warned Laschet during the election campaign that, even if he came in second place, he might try to build a coalition that would push him into the chancellorship.
After a chaotic campaign marked by errors and omissions, Laschet, the biggest loser at this point, will have to be very convincing.
Merkel may have ultimately risked provoking a new war between leaders within the German right as the question of Laschet’s future at the helm of the CDU, eight months after his election, was raised.
And if the head of the Christian Democratic Union and the head of the government of North Rhine-Westphalia, the largest German state in terms of population, is known to always succeed in turning matters in his favour and getting rid of his fiercest enemies, this time it seems difficult for Laschet, who imposed his candidacy at the end of a severe conflict. With his ally CSU leader Marcus Söder, the most popular of him.
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Source : ألدستور