Latest election results herald “beginning of the end of Merkel’s era”, says right-wing party AfD
German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a devastating defeat in her own home turf as voters in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern rejected her open-door immigration policy. The otherwise tame German press was scrambling to find the right words to describe Merkel’s latest defeat, with the leading German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung calling it to the “chainsaw massacre.”
Anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) finished in second place with 21 percent votes in the state assembly, ahead of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU). The leader of AfD, Frauke Petry, declared her party’s latest election victory as the “beginning of the end of Merkel’s era.”
Merkel, currently in China for the G20 Summit, told reporters that she will not be reversing her liberal stance of open migration despite Sunday’s historic defeat. German state-run broadcaster DW reports:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday defended her government’s handling of the refugee crisis, but said the poor election result showed there was work to be done to win back voter confidence. (…)
Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) was relegated to third place behind the right-wing, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in weekend polls in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The CDU garnered 19 percent of the vote – its worst ever score in the ex-communist state, which is also where Merkel has her parliamentary constituency.
Having served as Chancellor of Germany for almost 12 years, Merkel is now hoping to run for a 4th term next year. But Sunday’s defeat has once again opened rifts between her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and its traditionally Catholic Bavarian sister-party CSU. German broadcaster DW writes:
After the CDU’s electoral defeat in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, tensions in the CDU-CSU union have intensified. Bavarian State Premier Horst Seehofer has blamed Merkel’s refugee policy for the AfD’s success.
In Tuesday’s edition of the daily newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung,” Horst Seehofer, the Bavarian state premier and leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), said Sunday’s “disastrous” election result was a consequence of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy.
Seehofer has been a long-time vocal critic of Merkel’s open-door policy since the chancellor allowed some 1 million refugees to cross Germany’s borders last year.
Last week, the head of German authority for migrants and refugees (BMBF) announced his country’s intention to take in 300,000 new migrants in the current year. “We’re preparing for 250,000 to 300,000 refugees this year,” Frank-Juergen Weise told a German newspaper. Considering Merkel government’s usual tactic of downplaying migrant influx, the actual numbers could go much higher.
In 2015, Germany took in more than a million migrants after Markel suspended border regulations (Dublin Protocol), opening her country’s borders to migrants primarily from Arab and Muslim countries. Subsequent rise in crime and mass-sexual assaults have turned public opinion in Germany against the government’s open-doors policy.
Merkel’s generous stance on mass-migration has made her the poster-girl of Liberals worldwide. Her humiliating defeat — coming on the heels of EU’s defeat in the UK referendum and rise of Nationalist parties across Europe — has badly rattled the liberal establishment.
On Monday, United Nations (UN) chief-commissar on Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, who is also a Jordanian prince, lamented the rise of ‘populist movement’ in Christian countries of the West. A Muslim himself, Al Hussein compared Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, Dutch politician Geert Wilders, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage (among others) to the operatives of Islamic State.
The recent migrant crisis and its fallout have turned years of popular dissatisfaction in Europe — to borrow Geert Wilders’ term — into a ‘Patriotic Spring.’ Having already lost UK to a popular Brexit uprising, the end of Merkel Era in Germany could be the next historic blow to the Liberal European establishment.
VIDEO: Anti-Immigration Party Trounces Merkel’s CDU in State Elections, WSJ reports
[Cover image courtesy Bundesregierung, YouTube]DONATE
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