Germany: Merkel elected Chancellor again, but the real winners of the election are far-right nationalists


After yesterday’s German election, the MPs sitting in the Bundestag will be 709, the highest number in the life of the German Parliament. The Christian Democrat/Christian Social union (Cdu/Csu) of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who gets her 4th mandate, is still the first party, with 32.9% votes and 246 seats: it loses 8.5% from 2013. Social Democrats (Spd) too lose votes compared with 4 years ago, getting 20.5% (they got 25.7%) and 153 seats overall. The winner of the election is the far-right nationalist party Alternative for Germany (AfD), which sits in the Bundestag for the first time with as many as 94 MPs, which make up 12.6%. The Liberals of the FdP make a comeback to Parliament, with 10.7% of votes and 80 seats. The leftist party Linke (69 MPs, +5) and the Green party (67, +4) confirm and improve their results. Another unprecedented thing in parliament will be 6 parties sitting in the Bundestag, something that could force Angela Merkel to engage in difficult, long negotiations to achieve a sound majority government. The Chancellor admitted that it has been a complicated election: “After 12 years at the helm of government, a victory was not a foregone conclusion. We must not pretend that nothing happened – Merkel said in her first statements –. We hoped we would do better, of course, but we must not forget that there has been an important, challenging time behind us. We have still achieved our strategic goals, we are the strongest party as Cdu/Csu Union, and it’s us who will have to form a government”. The Social Democratic party leader, Martin Schulz, turns his back on the Große Koalition with Merkel’s party: “We will be the opposition”, he said after the first results that revealed Spd’s defeat.

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