•   
  •   
  •   

World Germans head to the polls in historic election marking the end of Merkel's era

09:05  26 september  2021
09:05  26 september  2021 Source:   cnbc.com

As Merkel prepares to leave office, many think Germany's 'golden age' is over

  As Merkel prepares to leave office, many think Germany's 'golden age' is over Many Europeans believe the Germany's "golden age" is over just as Chancellor Merkel prepares to leave office — including a majority of Germans, a poll shows.Now she's leaving office after 16 years, many Europeans believe the country's "golden age" is over — including a majority of Germans, according to a recent poll.

The end of the Merkel era . Pre- election opinion polls projected no clear favorite in the Bundestag race, but conclusively showed Merkel has stepped in personally in a bid to prevent this, warning parliament earlier this month that the country may be headed for a left-wing coalition government. In an uncharacteristic rebuke to the SPD, her coalition partners since 2013, Merkel said citizens faced a

image captionAngela Merkel has appeared at rallies alongside Armin Laschet in the last week of the campaign. The fight to succeed popular, long-serving chancellor Angela Merkel could barely be tighter as Germans go to the polls in parliamentary elections . The streets of Berlin are hosting the annual This unpredictable election looked over until Mrs Merkel entered the fray, her career at the top of German politics now weeks from coming to an end . "It really matters who' s in power," she warned voters repeatedly in the 48 hours before the vote. Her message was that Germany needed stability

  • Millions of Germans are heading to the polls on Sunday in an election that will change the face of Germany, and Europe, as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to leave office.
  • Voting in polling stations across Germany takes place between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time.
  • Millions of voters are estimated to have cast their votes already via postal ballots.
  • Exit polls will be released shortly after the polls close at 6pm local time.
A voting booth is decorated with a German national flag. © Provided by CNBC A voting booth is decorated with a German national flag.

Millions of Germans are heading to the polls on Sunday in an election that will change the face of Germany, and Europe, as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to leave office after 16 years in power.

As Merkel bids farewell, German women wish for more equality

  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 race to succeed Angela Merkel as German chancellor remains wide open ahead of a national election on Sunday, according to the latest polls .

After 16 years in power, Angela Merkel prepares to step aside as Germany votes Sunday for a new Chancellor (Sept. Up next. Now playing: us. German elections mark end of Merkel era . Associated Press. UP NEXT. I have never seen historic numbers like this in my career: Lt.

Voting in polling stations across Germany takes place between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time, but many have cast their votes already via postal ballots. Exit polls giving an indication of the election result will be released shortly after the polls close.

Recent German elections have failed to throw up any real surprises and Merkel's re-election was usually assured. Since announcing she would step down, however, the election race has been wide open with voters forced to look elsewhere for new leadership.

Voter polls in the run-up to the Sept. 26 vote have fascinated pundits and the public alike. The Green Party enjoyed a bounce in popularity and took the lead in the polls at one point in April to then be overtaken by the Social Democratic Party, which has managed to hang on to a slight lead in recent weeks.

How Germans will look back on Angela Merkel

  How Germans will look back on Angela Merkel When the German chancellor steps down, how will history remember her? Four experts have their say.When Mrs Merkel steps down after 16 years in power, how will history remember her?

According to the latest polls , Germany 's center-left Social Democratic Party is narrowly ahead of Merkel ' s center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian partner, the Christian Social Union. They're closely followed by the Greens, the far-right Alternative for Germany and the libertarian Free Democratic Party, all holding onto double-digit poll numbers going into Sunday's election . Josef Janning, a senior associate fellow with the German Council on Foreign Relations, says the two traditional big-tent parties have failed to attract support outside their traditional bases in a more

After 16 years in power, Angela Merkel prepares to step aside as Germany votes Sunday for a new Chancellor (Sept. UP NEXT. NOW PLAYING: World. German elections mark end of Merkel era .

In the meantime, Merkel's ruling conservative alliance of the Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union has failed to break away from the pack and recent opinion polls have seen the party trailing in second place behind the SPD.

Still, the vote is too close to call with polls in the last week putting the SPD with 25% of the vote and the CDU-CSU with around 22%, while the Green Party is seen with around 16%.

Further behind lies the pro-business, liberal Free Democratic Party with 11%, with the right-wing Alternative for Germany seen with the same vote share. The far-left Die Linke party is seen with 6% of the vote.

The contenders

German voters are known to favor stability over charismatic leadership, with Merkel in power for 16 years and presiding over what many Germans have seen as the country's "golden age."

Olaf Scholz, the SPD's candidate for chancellor, is likely to have benefitted from this preference for a "safe pair of hands" in power, given that he has been Germany's finance minister and vice chancellor in the current government given the SPD's role in the current coalition with the CDU-CSU.

Floods, books & kids: Highlights of German election campaign

  Floods, books & kids: Highlights of German election campaign BERLIN (AP) — Germans go to the polls on Sunday to elect a new parliament and produce a new German leader after 16 years of having Angela Merkel at the helm. Merkel decided not to run for a fifth term and the election campaign has largely focused on the three candidates hoping to succeed her. Here is a look at the highs, the lows and the unexpected that happened during Germany's latest campaign: WHAT'S HOT Climate change rose to the top of Germany's political agenda over the summer, following the deadly floods that hit western Germany in July and which experts say will become more likely if global warming continues.

How Germany ' s Merkel shaped a generation. Mrs Merkel had vowed to avoid the campaign for Sunday' s election , but her CDU-CSU alliance has lost what was a comfortable lead in the polls and is now trailing just behind the SPD (Social Democrats) - the junior partners in the current coalition government. The Green Party is on course to come third, but could still feature in government; analysts say a wide range of coalitions could be technically possible, if politically tricky, to negotiate.

Germany ’s closely fought election on Sunday will set the direction of the European Union’s most populous country after 16 years under Angela Merkel , whose party is scrambling to avoid defeat by its center-left rivals after a rollercoaster campaign. Recent polls point to a neck-and-neck race between Merkel ' s center-right Union bloc and the Social Democrats, with the latter marginally ahead. The polls show the Greens, making their first bid for the chancellorship, in third place after a campaign in which all three have held the lead.

The other candidates for chancellor — the CDU-CSU's Armin Laschet and the Green Party's Annalena Baerbock — have seen more mediocre successes during their election campaigns with both of them hit by several controversies and questions over their suitability to lead.

The CDU's Laschet, in particular, has seen his ratings dive due to a disappointing campaign trail and lackluster performance on the public stage. Being caught on camera laughing during a visit to a German town hit by devastating floods, for which he later apologized, did nothing to boost his public persona either.

Three TV debates between the leading candidates have failed to translate into a reversal of the CDU-CSU's popularity, despite outgoing Merkel trying to revive Laschet's chances of succeeding her.

The CDU, and its Bavarian sister party, the CSU, have dominated German politics since 1949, when the parties formed a parliamentary group and ran in the first federal election following World War II.

The unassuming power of Germany's Angela Merkel. What does she leave behind?

  The unassuming power of Germany's Angela Merkel. What does she leave behind? Angela Merkel, a once-obscure scientist who claimed the global spotlight, leaves a mixed legacy as her tenure as Germany's chancellor ends.But the German chancellor, now in the waning days of a titanic 16 years in power, veered away from her trademark empiricism two years ago when she spoke to an American graduating class.

In recent years the party has fallen out of favor with younger German voters who are prioritizing green policies and want to see Germany invest in and modernize its creaking industries and infrastructure. In the last election in 2017, the CDU-CSU suffered its worst election result since 1949. Although the bloc won 33% of the vote, that itself was down from 41.5% in the previous election in 2013.

Coalition ahead

The 2021 vote is again more unpredictable for a variety of factors, such as the split in the votes that signals no obvious winner, and the amount of mail-in votes expected this year.

Mail-in voting was already common in Germany before the pandemic but election organizers expect as many as 50% mail-in ballots this time around, up from 28.6% in the 2017 election, given the Covid-19 situation, Deutsche Welle reported.

What's certain is that the next government will be a coalition, with no one party expected to gain enough seats to govern alone. Analysts have spent many months speculating on what form a coalition government could take, and whether the CDU-CSU could find itself in opposition after many years in power. Coalition talks in any case are likely to take weeks, and potentially months.

"Each of the two major parties (the SPD and CDU/CSU) could form a coalition with the Greens and the center-right Liberals (FDP)," Carsten Nickel, deputy director of research at Teneo Intelligence, said in a note Wednesday.

'Eternal' chancellor: Germany's Merkel prepares to leave the stage

  'Eternal' chancellor: Germany's Merkel prepares to leave the stage She was called "the leader of the free world" as authoritarian populists were on the march in Europe and the United States, but Angela Merkel is wrapping up a historic 16 years in power with an uncertain legacy at home and abroad. In office so long she was dubbed Germany's "eternal chancellor", Merkel, 67, leaves with her popularity so resilient she would likely have won a record fifth term had she sought it. Instead, Merkel will pass the baton as the first German chancellor to step down entirely by choice, with a whole generation of voters never knowing another person at the top.

"A left-of-center government of SPD, the Greens, and the post-communist Left (Die Linke) – and perhaps even another grand coalition of SPD and CDU/CSU – might also be possible numerically, but will not be the first choice,"

"Party leaderships will assess the official results in meetings on Monday morning, formally offering exploratory talks to potential coalition partners. These talks, as well as subsequent coalition negotiations, might take several weeks, given the likely need to forge an untested three-way coalition. As in 2017, coalition negotiations could still fail at a late stage, necessitating the search for alternative combinations," Nickel noted.

Angela Merkel has been the face of the CDU, and Germany, for 16 years. © Provided by CNBC Angela Merkel has been the face of the CDU, and Germany, for 16 years.

Factors to watch will be whether the slight improvement in the polls for CDU-CSU turns into some last-minute momentum on election day, Nickel said, as well as how the Greens fare.

"Since Annalena Baerbock fell back into third place, she has put in solid performances in the TV debates, presenting herself as an alternative to her two male contenders wrangling with each other; combined with the expected high turnout in cities and via postal ballot, the Greens' result could potentially still surprise."

The economy

As for the economy, Europe's largest, whoever takes the helm at the chancellery will have challenges on their hands, Barclays' Macro Research Analyst Mark Cus Babic noted Thursday.

"A robust economic recovery is underway and the short-term outlook remains solid, in our view, irrespective of the election outcome but with the drawdown of pandemic savings and supply disruptions as key risks. However, several challenges loom. The medium-term outlook will depend on how the new government tackles them," he said.

Closely fought German election ushers in post-Merkel era

  Closely fought German election ushers in post-Merkel era BERLIN (AP) — German voters are choosing a new parliament in an election that will determine who succeeds Chancellor Angela Merkel after her 16 years at the helm of Europe's biggest economy. Polls point to a very close race Sunday between Merkel's center-right Union bloc, with state governor Armin Laschet running for chancellor, and the center-left Social Democrats, for whom outgoing finance minister and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz is seeking the top job.

Olaf Scholz et al. standing in front of a television screen: Journalists and party members watch on a screen from the press centre (L-R) Olaf Scholz, German Finance Minister, Vice-Chancellor and the Social Democrats (SPD) candidate for Chancellor and Armin Laschet, North Rhine-Westphalia's State Premier and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) candidate for Chancellor as they attend an election TV debate in Berlin on September 12. © Provided by CNBC Journalists and party members watch on a screen from the press centre (L-R) Olaf Scholz, German Finance Minister, Vice-Chancellor and the Social Democrats (SPD) candidate for Chancellor and Armin Laschet, North Rhine-Westphalia's State Premier and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) candidate for Chancellor as they attend an election TV debate in Berlin on September 12.

"Germany faces key challenges such as implementing and paying for the green transition, the need for digital transformation, a rapidly ageing population, sluggish productivity growth, and reliance on exports, including to China."

Whether Germany remains the engine of European growth will likely depend on economic policies that the next German government puts in place to overcome these key challenges, Cus Babic noted. "Uncertainty on the outcome of the elections is high, with polls suggesting the new German government will likely be a three-party coalition whose economic policy agenda will be defined during the coalition talks, with the first consequences materialising from 2023."

Teflon leader: Party's big loss won't tarnish Merkel's image .
BERLIN (AP) — Angela Merkel will leave office in the coming months with her popularity intact among voters and widely admired beyond Germany as a chancellor who deftly steered her country, and Europe, through numerous crises. Her center-right political bloc, on the other hand, is in shambles. The once-dominant Christian Democratic Union and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, suffered their worst-ever national election result Sunday. The Union bloc took home less than a quarter of the vote and may find itself relegated to the role of opposition after 16 years in power.

usr: 0
This is interesting!