An­gela Merkel wins Ger­man elec­tions

The Week - Junior - - This Week’s Big News -

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.

What hap­pened?

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.”

An­gela Merkel.

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