On Sunday, Berliners elected 149 members to the state parliament. Merkel’s CDU suffered its worst ever results in the German capital, securing only 18 percent of votes compared to 23.3 percent five years ago. Another party of the ruling coalition — the Social Democratic Party (SPD) — gained only a slightly better result of 22%, while the right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany received 14.6%.
“The fact that the Alternative for Germany pushed CDU aside is very serious, it signifies the start of political shifts in Germany, which can have very serious consequences,” expert at the Institute of Sociology at the Russian Academy of Science Alexander Galkin told Sputnik. “Now the CDU has suffered another very serious defeat, and this will affect the balance of power in the parliament and, inevitably, the situation in Germany as a whole,” he added.
Following the election, the German Chancellor admitted that the outcome of the voting has been “very unsatisfactory” and “disappointing.”
“Compared with the previous, also not very good results, the CDU lost another six percent. The grand coalition no longer has the majority, and it is bitter,” Merkel stated.
The politician also admitted that the main reason behind the failure of her party was her migration policy, although she stressed that her mistake was not the policy itself, but rather the way she presented it to the population.
Merkel assured that she “will continue her work” on solving the problems. “We will work on reducing the number of refugees,” the politician stressed.
Earlier, head of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) Christian Lindner said that the failure of the CDU party can be explained by the so called ‘bad Merkel’ factor — her negative image among some groups of the population amid her failure to control the current migration crisis.
“For the CDU, this factor which has little to do with the fear of the other, racism and xenophobia, but is rather associated with the loss of the rule of law and control, which is not accepted by conservative voters in Germany, is decisive,” Lindner told reporters in Berlin.
At the same time, political expert at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Berlin Sasha Tamm has a more positive opinion on Merkel’s political prospects. Although the election results in Berlin are unpleasant for Merkel, the rating of the ruling party at the federal level is much higher — 30-32%. Tamm doesn’t see any candidate that could replace Merkel on her position as CDU leader.
“There are no real alternatives to Angela Merkel now, she pushed away all strong competitors,” the expert told Russian newspaper Vzglyad.
Political expert Vladislav Belov also admits that Merkel remains the only heavyweight in German politics so far. According to him, at a press conference, that took place on Monday, she clearly indicated her intention to resolve the refugee crisis.
“She once again proved to be a strong politician who, despite the defeat of her party, confidently looks to the future,” Belov told the newspaper.