Merkel’s election campaign hit by rowdy protests
Ostseebas Binz, (Germany), Sept. 16: Chancellor Angela Merkel may appear to be cruising to a victory in next week’s elections, but her campaign rallies across Germany have been plagued by rowdy protesters who jeer, boo and even throw tomatoes at her.
From the western university town of Heidelberg to the picturesque southern city of Rosenheim and the eastern heartland of Torgau, unhappy voters hold banners saying “Get lost” or “Merkel must go”, laying bare their frustration.
Similarly minded chants seek to drown out the chancellor’s speeches.
The unruly protests have jolted awake a snoozy campaign and tarnished Ms Merkel’s image of invincibility, even though her conservative alliance is commanding a strong double-digit lead in opinion polls. The demonstrations also come at a time when the anti-immigration and anti-Islam Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has been gaining in the polls in the final stretch before the September 24 vote.
The disquiet has sparked questions about the source of the pent-up anger.