Angela Merkel won a fourth term as German Chancellor on Sunday (Sept 24). She now has to form a coalition with two partners. The far right party, Alternative for Germany, won 13 per cent of the vote, three times the percentage it received in 2013. This means that Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats won, but their win was weakened.

The election results show that populism and concerns over immigration and inequality aren’t over.

“We expected a better result, that is clear,” Merkel said on Sunday night. “The good thing is that we will definitely lead the next government.”

She said that she will listen to the voters of Alternative for Germany. She will win them back “by solving problems, by taking up their worries, partly also their fears, but above all by good politics”

So now her party’s rule becomes considerably more complicated.

One of Alternative for Germany’s leaders said  “We did it. We are in the German parliament and we will change Germany.”

After the election, protesters stood outside the AfD’s election night party chanting slogans like “All of Berlin, hate the AfD.”

This was Merkel’s party’s worst result since 1945. Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and their Bavaria-only allies, the Christian Social Union, won 33 per cent of the vote — down from 41.5 per cent four years ago. The party’s previous coalition partner, the Socialist Democrats (SPD), showed a humiliating performance, their worst since World War II.

The AfD win shows the increasing trend of populism in Europe. Populist leaders from around Europe cheered the AfD’s win. “Bravo to our allies from AfD for this historic score!” tweeted Marine Le Pen, the runner-up in France’s presidential election. “It’s a new symbol of the awakening of the peoples of Europe.”

63-year-old Merkel will now face a myriad of challenges as she tries to form a stable government.

Also Read: Angela Merkel Condemns Trump’s Immigration Ban

 

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