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Angela Merkel wins Fourth Term

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26th-Sep-2017       
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ANGELA Merkel creates history by winning election fourth time. Her Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) had maintained a double-digit lead over the Social Democratic Party (SPD) led by Martin Schulz in opinion polling since the 2013 election. Merkel's conservative bloc won 32.5 percent of the vote, making them the largest parliamentary group. However, that was down from 41.5 percent in the last election, in 2013.

An interesting fact is that, Alternative for Germany (AfD), who were previously unrepresented in the Bundestag for not having required 5% vote; have taken 13% of the vote this time. Founded in April 2013, this party is known to have a similar ideology of that of NSDAP or otherwise known as Nazi party. They are anti-immigrant and anti-Islam, so their growing popularity is a matter of concern. They are set to enter the Bundestag for the first time as the third largest party of Germany. The AfD promised "constructive opposition" in parliament but the Greens have already complained that "Nazis have returned to parliament".

Merkel said in her post-election speech that the CDU had hoped for a better result but had faced an "extraordinary challenge" (referring to the 2015 migrant crisis) and had still managed to remain Germany's largest party. She pledged to listen to AfD voters and win back those she could with "good politics". Whatever the make-up of her coalition she is about to face four years of government in a fragmented parliament after the return of the FDP, which was unrepresented at national level for the last four years and the arrival of the AfD. The AfD has morphed into an anti-immigration party that has profited from Merkel's 2015 decision to leave German borders open to over 1 million migrants, most of them fleeing war in the Middle East.

Merkel, known as a friend of the migrants, mostly Muslims, in her fourth term shall have to face more challenges from the rising far-right forces in the coming  years. However, it is also true, Merkel is a long serving matured politician possessing all the traits of quality leadership. Similarly, Germany itself is a matured and free democratic society and knows well how to allow democracy to work. Thus, the far-right forces will not enjoy hey-days.

We would like to congratulate Merkel on her win and hope she will deal swiftly with all the challenges she face. After the Brexit Germany will be the one to lead Europe. So she is about to face several challenges both inside Germany and internationally.


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