THIS WEEK: Germany’s Merkel gets fourth term with weakened mandate
Angela Merkel secured a fourth term as German Chancellor after the Sept 24 election but with a weakened mandate as far-right party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) made in-roads into the German parliament for the first time.
Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) got 33% of the vote, Social Democrats coming in second with 21% of the vote and not very surprisingly, the far right AfD notching 13%. Analysts had stated that the election would be a test for Merkel’s open door policy which saw a million refugees fleeing wars in Syria enter the country in 2015.
Merkel who assumed office in 2005 told a crowd of supporters in Berlin that the outcome was “a result that was not as good as we had expected”. As she starts a fourth term, Merkel and her government will have to deal with the presence of right wing extremists in the German parliament who opposed her refugee policy from the onset.