Angela Merkel wins German elections
Angela Merkel has been elected the leader of Germany for the fourth time in a row, after winning her country’s general election on 24 September. In Germany, the leader is called the chancellor.
Merkel is in charge of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party. It has a sister party (a party that is connected to it) called the Christian Social Union (CSU). The CSU stands for election only in Germany’s biggest state – Bavaria. The two parties have governed Germany since 2005.
The CDU-CSU won Sunday’s election, and will have the most members in the German parliament, which is called the Bundestag. However, it received only 32.9% of votes, which was 8.6% less than it won in the previous election in 2013. This was the CDU-CSU’s worst result since 1949, when Germany first held elections after the
Second World War.
How did the other parties do?
The CDU-CSU was not the only party to suffer. Until the election, the CDU-CSU governed with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in a coalition, which is when two or more parties agree to work together. But the SPD lost votes and its leader, Martin Schulz, says it will not be part of the government any more. This means Merkel must now make an agreement with other parties, because she does not have enough members to vote with her in parliament. It is thought she might join forces with the Green Party and the
Free Democratic Party. Together, the three parties would have enough members to have a majority in parliament.
What else happened?
A new group called Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), which means Alternative for Germany, won enough votes to become the third-largest party in the parliament. It won 12.6% of the vote – more than people expected. The AfD was formed in 2013 and is a far-right party. Far-right groups usually believe in very traditional values and in protecting their culture and country against others.
What does the AfD want?
The AfD wants to stop some people from entering Germany. They’re angry because, since 2015, Merkel has allowed more than a million refugees, who were escaping war or violence, and migrants looking for a better life, to live in the country. Many of these people are Muslims from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. During the election, the AfD criticised Muslims in Germany and said Islam was “not part of Germany”. However, many Germans don’t agree with these views. Thousands held protests against the AfD around the country, and shouted “Refugees welcome here.”