German elections: Big setback for Merkel's conservatives as center-left party comes out on top




  • In World
  • 2021-09-27 14:40:21Z
  • By Fox News

Germany's center-left Social Democrats narrowly defeated outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right bloc in national elections, giving them the edge in the hard fought race to determine who will succeed the leader of the European Union's strongest economy and most populous country.

While there were no big winners in Sunday's elections, there was a clear loser - Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) - which had their worst showing in history. The party, which runs on a combined ticket with its Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), won 24.1% of the vote, according to preliminary official results, down from nearly 33% in the previous national elections in 2017.

The center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) edged Merkel's party by 1.6 points. The SPD's 25.7% finish was a gain of five points from 2017.

SOCIAL DEMOCRATS TAKE LEAD OVER MERKEL'S PARTY AS GERMAN ELECTION RESULTS POUR IN

With Sunday's election over, another contest is now underway - the fight by the top two parties to build a coalition to succeed Merkel, who's served 16 years steering Germany and who made history as the country's first female chancellor.

Germans didn't actually vote for chancellor in the election. Instead, they cast ballots for a local lawmaker and for their preferred party.

German elections to the Bundestag - the country's legislature - are run on a system of proportional representation, meaning that each party's vote share relates directly to how many seats they get in parliament. That principle makes it virtually impossible for a party to lead a government alone. Coalitions must instead be formed after the vote.

It will likely take at least three parties to form a governing coalition, and the post-election political posturing has already begun.

The Social Democrats' candidate Olaf Scholz, the outgoing vice chancellor and finance minister who pulled his party out of a years-long slump, said the outcome was "a very clear mandate to ensure now that we put together a good, pragmatic government for Germany."

But Merkel's party said it too would reach out to smaller parties to discuss forming a government, while the chancellor stays on in a caretaker role until a successor is sworn in.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST FOX NEWS REPORTING ON GERMANY

Armin Laschet, the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia state and the nominee for chancellor for Merkel's Union bloc, acknowledged that "this is a loss of votes that isn't pretty," but pledged "we will do everything we can to form a government under the Union's leadership."

Both Laschet and Scholz will be courting the same two parties: the environmentalist Greens, who finished third with 14.8%; and the pro-business Free Democrats, who took 11.5% of the vote. The Greens traditionally lean toward the Social Democrats and the Free Democrats toward the Union, but neither ruled out going the other way.

Another possible outcome is the least favorite - a continuation of the a grand coalition between Merkel's conservative Union and the SPD that's run the country the past eight years.

Whomever become chancellor will have a tough task succeeding Merkel - who's dealt during her tenure with four U.S. presidents - George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and now Joe Biden.

Under Merkel's watch, Germany's become known as the European Union's de facto leader, and the chancellor will likely be remembered as a pragmatic leader with an ability to keep her job by striking political compromises.

And Merkel - in Germany, Europe and around the world - has earned a reputation as an honest broker and a reliable partner.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report

COMMENTS

More Related News

Germany
Germany's Scholz supports mandatory vaccines by end Feb - sources
  • US
  • 2021-11-30 14:17:13Z

Olaf Scholz, who is set to take over as German chancellor next week, supports making vaccination against COVID-19 compulsory and backs barring the...

Inflation in 19 nations using euro hits record high of 4.9%
Inflation in 19 nations using euro hits record high of 4.9%
  • US
  • 2021-11-30 10:04:34Z

Consumer prices across the 19 countries that use the euro currency are rising at a record rate as a result of a huge spike in energy costs this year...

Top German court upholds disputed national COVID measures
Top German court upholds disputed national COVID measures
  • US
  • 2021-11-30 09:32:44Z

Germany's highest court on Tuesday rejected complaints against curfews and other restrictions imposed by federal legislation earlier this year in areas where...

Rise in German COVID-19 infections flattens
Rise in German COVID-19 infections flattens
  • US
  • 2021-11-30 08:05:20Z

Germany reported another 45,753 new coronavirus cases and 388 deaths on Tuesday, but the seven-day incidence of cases per 100,000 people fell slightly for...

France calls for EU deal with Britain on illegal immigration
France calls for EU deal with Britain on illegal immigration
  • World
  • 2021-11-29 16:41:59Z

France wants a new post-Brexit accord between Britain and the European Union on handling illegal immigration, in the wake of the disaster in the Channel last...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World