Friday, September 02, 2016

Merkel facing election BATTERING: German leader set for defeat in own state over weekend


CHANCELLOR Angela Merkel is facing a drubbing in a regional election in her home state on Sunday as the latest surveys shows the hard-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party beating her own conservative CDU.One poll, conducted by the Insa Institute for the monthly magazine Cicero, forecasts that the AfD will win 23 per cent of the vote compared to 20 per cent for the CDU. It would be further proof of the failure of her open door immigration policy which has given the anti-immigrant, anti-EU AfD a massive boost across the country.It already beat Mrs Merkel in local elections in the spring in three German states and is now poised to become a powerful force in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern where the chancellor has her own power base. Unregulated immigration of refugees – a further 300,000 are expected this year – and the fear of Islamic terrorism has made Germany an edgy nation that is increasingly distrustful of the mainstream political groupings.Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is currently ruled in a coalition of the centre-left SPD and the CDU. Although the way the numbers crunch in German state elections means they could continue to rule, a strong AfD showing bodes ill for Mrs Merkel in next year's general election. The CDU has lost hundreds of thousands of voters into the ranks of the AfD.A strong showing at the weekend may well seal the political fate of Chancellor Merkel, who wants to run for a fourth term of office next year. "A devastating defeat, like the one being predicted by the pollsters, could finally put an end to her ambitions," said one report. It is still unclear which way her sister party in Bavaria, the CSU, will go. The party, without which she cannot rule, has demanded changes in her immigration policy as the price for continuing to support her.Lorenz Caffier, Mrs Merkel's candidate in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, warned if the AFD overtook established parties, it would be a “terrible signal” for Germany. Leif-Erik Holm, the charismatic AFD lead candidate in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has made the phrase “Merkel must go” central to his campaign theme. A strong showing by the party will means it has representation in nine of the 16 state parliaments in Germany."This is the price Merkel has paid for her immigration policy," said a caller on Radio Bavaria. "This is a crisis she has made and must live with. "The spectre of a strong right-wing party in Germany has haunted the establishment since 1945. Now it has arrived and it is all down to one woman."
 express

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