July 19, 2024

Germany Election: Merkel Seeks Fourth Term As Voting Begins

Voting has opened in Germany’s federal elections, with Chancellor Angela Merkel tipped to retain power.
She is seeking a fourth term in office and to keep her Christian Democrat party’s (CDU) status as the largest presence in Germany’s Bundestag.
The CDU’s coalition partner, the SPD, is its main opponent. The right-wing AfD is likely to gain seats in parliament for the first time.
Polling stations opened at 08:00 local time (06:00 GMT) and close at 18:00.
The first exit polls are expected shortly after the close of voting.
The election is seen as important because it may result in six parties in the Bundestag – the German national parliament – for the first time since World War Two.
Such a result could mean a change in the makeup of the current governing coalition.
German election: Why this vote matters
Election marks shift in German politics
Key contenders
Martin Schulz, left, and Angela Merkel, right, both against a dark backgroundImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image caption
Martin Schulz and Angela Merkel are the main contenders
Angela Merkel: Widely expected to retain her seat, Mrs Merkel is seen internationally as a source of stability – having led Germany since 2005. Her decision to open Germany to asylum seekers during the peak of Europe’s migrant crisis cost her politically, but she appears to have recovered
Martin Schulz: Leader of the centre-left SPD and Mrs Merkel’s main rival, he is also her coalition partner – which has proved troublesome during the campaign, as he sought to criticise her politics

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