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The Chancellor is standing for a fourth term and the SPD suffers a heavy defeat. Above all, the far right enters the Bundestag with a bang and can hope for nearly 90 deputies out of 631.

Angela Merkel's CDU won the general elections in Germany on Sunday. But it is weakened that the Chancellor will seek to form her next government, and while the far right of the AfD (Alternative for Germany) has recorded a historic breakthrough since the Second World War. The Christian Democratic Party suffered losses "dramatic" according to observers, with about 32,5% of the vote, nine points less than in 2013. Surrounded by the leadership of the CDU, Merkel admitted to having “hoped for a higher result”.

“Big test”. Its coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), for its part achieved the worst score in its history, with 20% of the vote, down nearly six points. The Social Democrats, rolled, defeated for the fourth time in a row, ruled out in the evening a renewal of their coalition with Angela Merkel. “It's a very bad result for the SPD, a heavy defeat. Today, the grand coalition is coming to an end”, assured the former Minister of the Family of Angela Merkel and member of the SPD, Manuela Schwesig, at the announcement of the projections of the results of the election. Long applauded by his supporters, Martin Schulz, the leader of the SPD, also recognized “the heavy and bitter defeat” of his party, a new illustration of the crisis of social democracy in Europe.

Two parties benefited greatly from the election. The FDP Liberals (10,5% of the vote), who were expelled from Parliament in 2013, are returning to the Bundestag. They could be the keystone of the next German government. Above all, and this is the main shock of the evening, the populist AfD party (13,5% of the vote), which holds anti-migrant, anti-Islam, anti-euro and revisionist speeches, makes a sensational entry into Parliament. According to polls, nearly 1,2 million AfD voters come from the abstentionist camp. And in 2013, 1 million AfD voters voted for the CDU. The SPD and the radical left of Die Linke each lost 500 voters to the AfD. One of the next "legislature challenges" will be to bring these voters back to the CDU, insisted the party leadership. "The AfD's entry into the Bundestag is a great test for Germany", Merkel pointed out. 86% of AfD voters believe that "twelve years of Merkel in power, that's enough", and 74% of them believe that “the CDU has abandoned its right-wing positions”.

Unpublished. For their part, the Greens (9,5%) and Die Linke (9%) remain stable compared to 2013. If the SPD persists in refusing any renewal of the coalition with Merkel, the Chancellor will have no other alternative than to get closer to the Liberals and the Greens (read below). An unprecedented experience: the country has never been governed by a coalition of three parties. Known as the “Jamaica” coalition, this scenario portends long and difficult negotiations, as the positions of the Greens and the Liberals seem far apart on the environment, security or Europe. “We will enter into such negotiations with great seriousness,” assures the Minister-President of the Land of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, the only Green to lead one of the sixteen German Länder.

Nathalie Versieux in Berlin

Source: © (1) Merkel, who wins loses – Liberation

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