Merkel in ‘bor­ing’ cam­paign

The West Australian - - WORLD -

Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel has re­jected a sug­ges­tion that her dom­i­nant lead in the polls over So­cial Demo­crat Martin Schulz ren­ders the elec­tion cam­paign in Europe’s largest econ­omy “bor­ing”.

“If cam­paign­ing means to some that it’s only good when two sides are scream­ing at each other, then that’s not what I have in mind when it comes to cam­paign­ing,” Mrs Merkel said on Tues­day.

“I’m pitch­ing for votes, so my main task is to make clear what we want for the next four years.”

Mrs Merkel has been hold­ing ral­lies for more than two weeks in the lead-up to the Septem­ber 24 poll, tout­ing her 12-year record of halv­ing un­em­ploy­ment, cit­ing progress in the refugee cri­sis and pledg­ing ex­panded broad­band ac­cess.

It has not gone un­no­ticed that she tends to ig­nore her chal­lenger, rarely re­fer­ring to him by name. That’s even as Mr Schulz spent last week es­ca­lat­ing his po­lit­i­cal at­tacks against the Chan­cel­lor, ac­cus­ing her of avoid­ing tough de­bates.

“I’ve al­ready men­tioned Martin Schulz at least once so that you wouldn’t say that,” Ms Merkel re­sponded, when asked about her ret­i­cence.

She won’t be able to avoid him for long — the two can­di­dates are due to hold a tele­vised de­bate on Sun­day, their only sched­uled face-to-face en­counter of the cam­paign.

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