Merkel’s elec­tion cam­paign hit by rowdy protests

The Asian Age - - World -

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.

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