After the Alternative for Germany (AfD) populist party handed Angela Merkel’s CDU party a humiliating defeat in her home state Sunday, the victors are saying that the Chancellor brought this on herself with her woeful immigration policy. The CDU fell to third place in the election, behind the ruling Socialist party followed by the up-and-coming AfD, which gained an impressive 21 percent relative to the 2011 elections.
“Angela Merkel defeats herself,” announced populist
leader Frauke Petry on television Monday morning, commenting on the
success of her AfD party in Mecklenburg that, in her view, constitutes a
personal defeat for the Chancellor.
“Merkel and the SPD deceive the citizens, whether it be on the
financial crisis or the migrant crisis. They are destroying this country
and that’s why people are voting for AfD,” she said.
The emblematic defeat came one year after Merkel opened Germany’s
borders to unlimited migration, letting in well over a million migrants
As its name suggests, AfD presents itself as the “alternative”
party—nationalist, populist and anti-mass migration. It has
progressively grown in popularity as citizens become more and more frustrated with the results of Merkel’s ineffective policies.
Earlier this year, German Voters punished Merkel in three state elections, voting en masse for the AfD and spurning Merkel’s Christian Democrats.
Engaged at the G20 summit in China, Ms. Merkel has not yet commented
on the results of the regional vote in Mecklenburg but is expected to do
so later Monday from Hangzhou, after the conclusion of the summit.
In Sunday’s election, Angela Merkel’s “catastrophic immigration
policy” overshadowed all other policy areas, Petry said. The other
parties were rejected because “for too long they have not listened to
the voters,” she added.