German presidential election results show tough competition

Polls show the centre-left Social Democrats are competing fiercely with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party bloc in Sunday’s German parliamentary election, which will determine a successor to Merkel, who has been in power for 16 years.

Polls show stiff competition between the centre-right Christian Democratic Union led by state governor Armin Laschet and the centre-left Social Democrats led by Olaf Scholz, the finance minister and vice chancellor.

Recent polls show the Social Democrats – which put forward environmental issues and are led by Annalena Baerbock – narrowly lead in third place, a few points behind the two leaders. Newly elected lawmakers will likely have to form a coalition government, meaning it could take several more weeks before Merkel’s successor is confirmed. No party is expected to come close to a majority, and opinion polls show all parties have less than 30% support.

Merkel is reluctant to give direct support behind any leader seeking to replace her, but last Saturday (25/9) attended a rally for Laschet. Merkel will continue to serve as caretaker until a successor is chosen. [em/jm]

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