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Germany expected to re-elect Merkel, send far-right to parliament

Europe
24.09.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - Germany‘s long-serving Chancellor Angela Merkel looks all but certain to win a fourth term in office when Germans vote on Sunday in an election that is also expected to see the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) entering parliament for the first time.

Having led Germany through a calm and prosperous 12 years, Merkel has run a campaign built on a promise to keep things more or less the same at a time of unprecedented instability within the European Union and a potentially seismic shift in trans-Atlantic relations.

Some 61.5 million people are eligible to cast their ballots in the election, in which Merkel‘s Christian Democrats (CDU) can hope for a narrow majority with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), or the environmentalist Greens, or an untried coalition with both.

Alternatively, the CDU will continue its so-called grand coalition of the biggest parties with the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), which has seen its support erode to a historic low over the past decade.

The AfD is expected to take at least 60 parliamentary seats in the election, after having narrowly failed to clear the 5-per-cent hurdle to enter parliament in 2013. It is the first time in 60 years that a far right party will be represented in the Bundestag.

Polls open at 8 am (0600 GMT) and first projections are expected when the polls close at 6 pm.

 

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