In what has been described by German media as a major disappointment, Angela Merkel won her fourth term as Germany’s Chancellor, with her alliance (Christian Union CDU/CSU) registering their worst score in almost 70 years. Merkel’s Christian Union is projected to win almost 33% of the votes, followed by various other parties, like SPD with almost 21%, FDP with almost 11%, the Greens with almost 9% etc.
What’s remarkable in this election is the fact that the German establishment was trounced, with SPD announcing they’ll enter the opposition, basically collapsing the grand coalition of CDU/CSU-SPD which ruled Germany for the last decades. The 2017 election marked the worst result for the CDU/CSU alliance since 1949 and the worst result for SPD since 1945.
The right-wing nationalist and anti illegal immigration party AfD won 13.5% of the votes, which makes it the third most-popular party in Germany.
Even if Merkel managed to gain her fourth mandate as chancellor after 12 years in power, the 33% of the votes won by the so-called conservative alliance CDU/CSU was disappointing, and the same story goes for Martin Schulz’s Social Democrats. A major German newspaper (Bild) described AfD’s 13.5% performance as a political earthquake, with AfD supporters cheering and gathering at a Berlin club, celebrating their historic result.
The AfD party is just 4 years old and given its anti immigration and nationalist tendencies, it is shunned by German mainstream media as a far-right party (whatever that means). Also, various politicians and media pundits branded AfD as Nazis entering the Bundestag. The voter turnout was a massive 80%, but despite the mainstream media hysteria about the “far right” AfD entering the Bundestag(mainstream media labels any political movement to the right of Stalin, of which Merkel was a huge fan of by the way, as far right) , nothing really changed in the country’s political realm, at least for now.
As unbelievable and crazy as it may appear to many that Merkel got re-elected again, it’s really no surprise. The good news is that the right-wing AfD made huge gains, garnering near 14% of the vote – something almost unthinkable just a couple of years ago. This is major happening for a country burdened (and brainwashed) with such extreme historic-guilt like Germany. These are small steps forward.