Germany's Syrian refugees celebrate Merkel win but fear rise of far-right

Share

Germany's far-right anti-gay party has won seats in the country's Parliament for the first time in more than half a century. You won't detect the tectonic movement by looking at who came in first, Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union, or at the second-place finisher, the center-left Social Democratic Party.

Germany's oldest party, the centre-left SPD, which had been in a "grand coalition" with Merkel, was consigned to opposition.

In her victory speech, Mrs Merkel vowed to win back voters from the AfD and admitted the party's entry into parliament posed a big challenge.

But Merkel said on September 25 that she expects to secure an alliance in coalition talks before Christmas. But we are also anxious: "what will the asylum policy of the new government be?" This shows how far the party have advanced in its four-year history.

After 12 years in power and running on a promise of stability and continuity, Merkel's CDU/CSU bloc scored 33 percent, according to final results, against 20.5 percent for the Social Democrats under challenger Martin Schulz, who pledged to go into the opposition. She spoke of "tough weeks ahead" but expressed confidence that Germany would have a new government by Christmas.

Coalition building could take months as Merkel's only straightforward path to a majority in parliament would be a three-way tie-up with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens - an arrangement untested at national level. "Besides, this party under Kohl made our move to Germany possible", he told Sputnik on Monday expressing, however, concerns over German alienation policy toward Russian Federation.

Not only that, she walked out of a press conference she was holding alongside other members of the leadership.

AfD's campaign capitalised on a backlash over Mrs Merkel's decision to open Germany's borders to undocumented migrants and refugees in 2015, mainly from the Middle East.

"Among the voters who support the AfD, you don't have a coherent radical right ideology: they are dissatisfied with things that happened, but not necessarily just the refugee crisis".

Stressing that "we live in stormy times" internationally, she declared: "I have the intention of achieving a stable government in Germany".

After shock election results past year, from Britain's vote to leave the European Union to the election of US President Donald Trump, leaders of Europe's establishment have looked to Merkel to rally the liberal Western order.

Sunday's national result was not a complete surprise: The AfD has won seats in 13 of Germany's 16 state legislatures, including a 24.3 per cent share of the vote in the eastern region of Saxony Anhalt previous year.

Share