The unsatisfactory results of the ruling coalition are another evidence of the changes in the political landscape of the country.
For the second time in a month, voters in regional elections in Germany turned their backs on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition, reaffirming that the country’s political landscape is rapidly changing..
In regional elections in the prosperous state of Hesse, both Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and her junior coalition government partner, the Social Democratic Party, suffered losses.
Against the backdrop of the recent failure in Bavaria, the situation in Hesse, where the Greens proved to be the most successful, raises questions about whether this defeat will be the beginning of the end for Angela Merkel. “Of course, the CDU is unhappy with the results. We need a new working culture in the ruling coalition and the revival of the Christian Democratic Party, ”says CDU Secretary General Annegret Kamp-Karenbauer.
The pressure on Merkel within the party grew even before Sunday’s elections: critics believe that she should not be nominated for re-election as the leader of the CDU in the party elections in December. On Monday, Merkel yielded to these calls, confirming that she would not seek re-election as head of the party, but will remain chancellor..
Although the CDU is leading in the number of votes in Hesse, where the party has dominated for more than twenty years, it is estimated at just 27 percent – more than 10 percent less than five years ago. According to exit polls and forecasts, the Social Democrats will lose about 11 percent from the previous result and gain about 20 percent..
Sunday’s elections reinforce the impression of fragmentation in German politics amid the ongoing resonance over the 2015 migration crisis. This confirms that traditional parties are losing ground, and many voters no longer believe that they adequately represent their interests. In Hesse Greens score improved from 8 percent to 20 percent, while the far-right Alternative for Germany scored 12 percent.
Iron Lady Merkel’s position is becoming increasingly difficult, and even her most staunch supporters are not convinced that she will hold out until the end of her current term, which ends in 2021..
Ever since the CDU performed poorly in last year’s elections, Merkel has been plagued by crisis after crisis. Last month, it lost a trusted ally in parliament, Volker Cowder, who was ousted by disaffected coalition lawmakers. The coalition is on the verge of collapse this year due to disputes over immigration and the scandal over the head of intelligence.
Sunday’s elections are likely to have far-reaching consequences and increase pressure on all partners in the national government of Merkel, forcing them to re-evaluate the vitality of the coalition, which does not bring any of them electoral success..
Merkel’s CDU suffers heavy losses in German regional elections, exit polls say
A third of the Social Democratic Party members initially opposed joining the coalition led by Merkel.
“The state of the ruling coalition is unacceptable,” SDP leader Andrea Nales told party members after the results were announced..