Merkel's Top Challenge Is Building a New Coalition


Petry's husband, Marcus Pretzell, the party leader in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia and a regional lawmaker there, added that he is also leaving AfD. One of the consequences is the re-emergence of far- right parties in other European countries to get to the parliaments. The reason for the AfD's success, he regretted, was that people in Saxony were against Mrs Merkel's refugee policy. Their share fell to just 20.5 percent - and, wounded by the experience, they've said they'll now move into opposition. "I have been having sleepless nights since the election results came out".

Angela Merkel's victory in Sunday's election gives her a fourth term as Germany's chancellor and should be seen as a remarkable achievement - one that few would have predicted back in 2015, when her popularity slumped during the worst of the refugee crisis. On the right, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which has been fighting Merkel's open border policies and opposing the ongoing Islamist leaning shift in their nation, outperformed their poll numbers and took roughly 13%. "I fear the government could deport me to Afghanistan", Kabir Usmani, a Frankfurt-based Afghan asylum-seeker, told DW.

Bavaria's conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) wants talks on forming a new German government to focus on security and curbing immigration, a senior party official said, after sharp gains by a far-right party in September 24's federal election. Or will this coalition lead to Merkel not being able to push through anything without a backlash from her opposition?

Some people even called for Merkel's resignation as party leader in hope to regain momentum.

Polling station in Berlin
A sign points in German to a polling station in Berlin Sunday morning

"I'm anxious about the future".

Often referred to as the new leader of the free world, Merkel believes the drop in support was inevitable after 12 years in power. Becoming speaker would take him out of government. Prior to the election, German authorities made a decision to resume deportations to Afghanistan that it had stopped after a deadly suicide attack near the German embassy in Kabul in June. The Greens said they were "deeply troubled" by the AfD being in parliament.

"This was always expected to be least exciting election night for a very long time, although the final result makes for some uncomfortable political wrangling ahead".

But in spite of these setbacks, the bottom line is that Europe's economic powerhouse has opted for stability over the disruption that has plagued Western politics for the past few years.

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