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What's Happening 17:30 17 Sep 2021

Life without Merkel: how Germany is preparing to elect a parliament

Angela Merkel's party will definitely win the election. If not, the Greens will win and form a government. The German election is calm and uninteresting. For a few more months it has seemed true, but now it's the other way around. We explain how Germany is preparing to vote and what Ukraine has to do with it.

Photo Reuters

On September 26, German citizens will go to the polling stations to elect a new member of the Bundestag. And for the first time in 16 years, Angela Merkel will not be on the list. The chancellor, who also worked at the time of Presidents Viktor Yushchenko and George W. Bush, is stepping down, so the struggle for her political throne has begun in Germany.

Merkel's party initially predicted victory… but she risks losing even second place

A few months ago, the audience might've thought that the election in Germany was just a formality before Oktoberfest.

On April 20, the CDP/CSU congress (union of the Christian Democratic Party and the Christian Social Union) elected Armin Laschet, the head of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, as the candidate for prime minister, who won over the Bavarian Marcus Zeder. And the media, without waiting for September, began to discuss what kind of chancellor he will be.

In the end, Angela Merkel left Germany with a robust economy and leadership in the EU, so her centrist Democratic Party, to which everyone has been accustomed for 16 years, should easily win. It turned out the opposite. CDP/CSU ratings have been falling sharply since April, with only 21% of Germans now supporting it. The worst result in 70 years!

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