Politics Social Democrats beat Merkel's party in tight German election
Macron, Merkel meet in Paris on world's crises, EU issues
PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris Thursday to discuss international crises and European issues, days before elections that will determine who succeeds her after 16 years in office. Key topics include the diplomatic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the fight against Islamic extremists in Africa’s Sahel region and European Union affairs, both leaders said before their meeting, to be followed by a working dinner.The meeting comes ahead of Germany’s parliamentary elections on Sept. 26. Merkel has announced she won’t seek a fifth term.
Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) won a narrow victory in Sunday's general election, topping the outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the race to replace her after she stepped down following 16 years in power.
It was the worst ever showing for the CDU. However, the slim margin of 1.6 percentage points separating the top two parties means that both could potentially form a ruling coalition and it could take weeks or months of horse trading before a new government takes shape.
Exit polls projected a nail-biter between the CDU and SPD, confirmed by official results released after 4 a.m. in Germany showing the SPD winning by 1.6 percentage points, 25.7 percent against 24.6 percent of the vote, according to the .
As Merkel bids farewell, German women wish for more equality
BERLIN (AP) — Angela Merkel, Germany's first female chancellor, has been praised by many for her pragmatic leadership in a turbulent world and celebrated by some as a feminist icon. But a look at her track record over her 16 years at Germany's helm reveals missed opportunities for fighting gender inequality at home. Named “The World’s Most Powerful Woman” by Forbes magazine for the last 10 years in a row, Merkel has been cast as a powerful defender of liberal values in the West. She has easily stood her ground at male-dominated summits with leaders such as former U.S. President Donald Trump or Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The chancellor candidates for both parties projected confidence speaking to their supporters soon after polls closed in the evening.
"People checked the box for the S.P.D. because they want there to be a change of government in this country and because they want the next chancellor to be called Olaf Scholz," said Scholz, the Social Democrats' candidate, according to the New York Times.
Germany's diversity shows as immigrants run for parliament
BERLIN (AP) — Ana-Maria Trasnea was 13 when she emigrated from Romania because her single, working mother believed she would have a better future in Germany. Now 27, she is running for a seat in parliament. “It was hard in Germany in the beginning,” Trasnea said in an interview with The Associated Press. “But I was ambitious and realized that this was an opportunity for me, so I decided to do whatever I can to get respect and integrate.” Trasnea, who is running for the center-left Social Democrats in Sunday's election, is one of hundreds of candidates with immigrant roots who are seeking a seat in Germany's lower house of parliament, or Bundestag.
Amin Laschet, the CDU candidate, said in the evening that the outcome was unclear, but vowed to attempt to form a government even if it was the runner up.
"For this reason, we will do everything in our power to build a government led by the conservatives because Germany needs a future coalition that will modernize our country," Laschet told the crowd, according to the New York Times.
Germany's Green Party had its best performance ever, though it still trailed the SPD and CDU by a fairly wide margin. The Greens, along with the business-friendly Free Democrats, which finished fourth, will figure heavily into whatever coalition is formed in the weeks ahead.
Merkel will stay on in a caretaker role until a new government is formed.
EXPLAINER: How and when Germany will form a new government .
BERLIN (AP) — Germany's voters have delivered their verdict. Now it's up to party leaders to thrash out who will succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel after 16 years in office and with what political priorities. The shape of Germany's new Bundestag, or lower house of parliament, is now clear. But there are majorities for three more or less plausible new coalition governments, and it could take weeks or months to put a new administration in place. Here's a look at how the process works. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?The first-placed party typically leads German governments, but that isn't always the case. It can end up in opposition if other parties form a coalition without it.