Monday, September 23, 2013

Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union Wins Triumphant German Election

Chancellor Merkel was reelected to a third term.

At the New York Times, "Merkel Re-Elected in Show of Strong Support for Party":

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel scored a stunning personal triumph in Sunday’s national elections in Germany, becoming the only major leader to be re-elected twice since the financial crisis of 2008 and winning strong popular endorsement for her mix of austerity and solidarity in managing troubled Europe.

Although final vote tallies were not expected until Monday, the surprising show of strength for the chancellor and her center-right Christian Democrats — even their own polls had not suggested such a result — might just translate into an absolute majority, according to exit polls by both major German television stations. That is something no German chancellor has achieved since Konrad Adenauer in 1957.

Ms. Merkel, 59 and a physicist raised in Communist East Germany, was unusually buoyant when she appeared before supporters, who chanted “Angie! Angie!” and gave her two whole minutes of applause at party headquarters. She exuberantly thanked voters, campaigners and her husband, the quantum chemist Joachim Sauer. Mr. Sauer, who tends to shun the limelight, stood at the side of the stage, acknowledging the jubilation of her fans.

Later, during a raucous celebration at her party headquarters, Ms. Merkel clapped and sang along with the crowds but reminded them, “Tomorrow, we work.”

For all her success, it is not clear how Ms. Merkel will govern in her third four-year term. Her allies for the past four years, the business-minded Free Democrats, were expected to lose their place in Parliament, missing the 5 percent cutoff. And a narrow majority would be unstable — risking defeat in crucial parliamentary votes needed to pass more aid or credits for troubled economies.

So the most likely course is that Ms. Merkel will enter a grand coalition with the No. 2 party nationally, the center-left Social Democrats.
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Also at Der Spiegel, "Election Triumph: Merkel Victorious But Faces Tough Talks, and "Merkel Country: Trouble Ahead for Triumphant Queen Angela."

More, "Wiped Out: Free Democrats Reel from Election Fiasco," and "Grand Coalition? Social Dems Deflect Talk of Merkel Alliance."

Plus, an analysis at the Economist, "Angela Merkel's bittersweet triumph."