Recently, Germany held elections and with preliminary vote results in it has been indicated that German Chancellor and Christian Democrat Angela Merkel appeared to have gotten the electorate mandate via elections for her to serve a fourth term. However, she won by grasping far less than required to govern without her and her party building up a coalition. Merkel’s campaign tactic was to reference how she had kept Germany’s unemployment rate down at a record low as well as economic growth. Additionally, she referenced how she was an exceedingly esteemed leader both domestically and globally. Yet Merkel’s results were dampened by some voter’s unhappiness over her recent refugee policy, which has allowed approximately a million asylum seekers into Germany since 2015. Thus “Merkel has become a very polarizing figure, something she never envisioned for herself, never saw happening,” said Merkel biographer Stefan Kornelius (NPR).
Likewise, that body of voters who moved on from Merkel are sending in a right-wing nationalist political party into the German Parliament, which will be the first in approximately 50 years. The nationalist party was created in 2013 as a Eurosceptic party. As the party came in 3rd place in the election with an astounding 13% of the German vote. Merkel has informed the German people and media that she and her party do not have any plans on associating themselves with the right-wing party due to that party being supposedly a political party that is anti-Muslim, Anti-immigrant and even Anti-Semitic. Furthermore, one of the right-wing party’s key members, Bjoern Hoecke, made some very unsettling comments regarding the Holocaust Memorial. Furthermore, Hoecke stated that Germans should “make a 180-degree turn in their politics of commemoration” (NPR).
Now the party leader for the Parliament is former European Parliament President Martin Schulz. However, prior to becoming the new party leader of the Social Democrats, who are also a new party voted into the German Parliament this election. Schulz ran against Merkel on the Social Justice party ticket campaigning to” hopefully “easing income disparity and improving social benefits and education” (NPR). Moreover, all the following parties have reached or passed the five percent threshold to enter the parliament: The Social Democrats, the Greens, and The Left Party.
Yet, overall voter turnout got an increase from 71.5 % last election to this years75% of the electorate to the booths. Furthermore, the key issue(s) during the campaign season was immigration of the refugees. The reason is because many Germans feel as if these refugees are taking all the jobs from them. Moreover, this very thorny subject was initiated by the AFD party who went from supporting the assimilation of refugees to now deportation. However, both the AFD and Merkel both agree that if they do work with each other they need to engage the Trump Administration. Lastly, Merkel also made a public statement stating that Germany needs to and must assist the US in the fight against the Islamic State (IS).