Merkel’s CDU party inflicted losses in Berlin state elections
The party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel has gained the worst ever electoral results in the capital’ state elections, exit polls show.
Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) finished second in Berlin with only 17.5 percent while the anti-immigrant party Alternative for Germany (AfD) came in third with around 14 percent.
The Social Democratic Party (SPD) picked up around 22 percent and remains the strongest party in Berlin’s state assembly.
Frank Henkel, the CDU’s top Berlin candidate, described the results as “a black day for the people’s parties.”
“It is very alarming when fringe parties like the AfD or Die Linke between them attract a quarter of the vote,” he said.
Markus Soeder, finance minister of the state of Bavaria, who is from Merkel’s CDU’s sister party CSU also called the results as the “second massive wake-up call” in two weeks,
The CDU was defeated by the AfD in the chancellor’s home state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania two weeks ago.
Soeder said a long-term and massive loss in trust among traditional voters threatens the conservative bloc. Merkel’s right-left national coalition, he said, had to win back support by changing course on its refugee policy.
The Bavarian prime minster and CSU party leader, Horst Seehofer, also threatened not to support Merkel’s party at next year’s elections if she does not limit the number of refugees, who entered Germany.
He called on the chancellor to introduce an upper limit on refugees, with no more than 200,000 new arrivals allowed in Germany each year. The long-time critic of Merkel’s refugee policy blamed her for the “disastrous” defeat in the election earlier this month.
Merkel, who considers running for a fourth term next year, has come under fire in the country, since almost 1.1 million refugees, most of whom were fleeing war and violence in Iraq and Syria, arrived in Germany in 2015.
Her critics say the administration has not made sufficient contribution to efforts for ending the crises in Syria and Iraq, which are among the main causes of the refugee influx in Europe.
The dissatisfaction about her policies, which have caused her popularity to wane, has raised doubts over the future of her political life.