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Zhuyeqing Offline

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14.07.2018 03:49 antworten

BERLIN , Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The conservative union led byGerman sitting Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday defended itscommanding role in the Bundestag (German parliament) with 32.5percent of the vote, falling short of expectations with a9-percentage-point gap compared with the election four yearsago.

The union's main rival, Germany's center-left Social DemocraticParty (SPD) led by former European Parliament president MartinSchulz, also suffered a big setback in Sunday's election.

Meanwhile, the far-right party Alternative fuer Deutschland(AfD) unexpectedly made a historical breakthrough with 13.5 percentof votes, and became the third strongest party in theBundestag.


The lower than expected margin will still offer a decent chancefor Merkel to claim her fourth term as Chancellor.

Senior official of the CDU Volker Kauder told reporters afterthe election that the CDU had reached its expectation in theelection , and Merkel will remain in office as chancellor and willbe granted the mandatory to form the new cabinet.

In a televised speech after the election, Merkel told hersupporters that "we have clear government mandate, and nogovernment can be formed without us", admitting that her bloc hadreached strategic goal in election though she had hoped for betterresults.

She also promised to win back voters of AfD with good policies,vowing to fight against illegal immigrants while protectinginterests of legal citizens.

Despite Merkel's bitter victory, Andreas Quebbemann , member ofthe state parliament in Niedersachsen, said he was Verydisappointed with the result.

"We lost so many voters because they dissatisfied with CDU'spolicy, such as the refugee policy. But they switched to AfD notbecause they believed AfD can provide solutions, but an expressionof their dissatisfaction to us," Quebbemann told Xinhua.

"As to the coalition cabinet, there is only one option left forCDU -- joint FDP and the Green Party. But we have many differenceswith the Green Party. The coalition is bound to be a difficult one ,but I believe the final compromise will be reached. Because this ispolitics," Quebbemann added.

Calling it a historical day because of AfD's breakthrough, DavidMcallister, a CDU senior member and Chairman of the EuropeanParliament Foreign Affairs Committee, told Xinhua that theconservative union has no choice but form a "Jamaica coalition"(so-called because the parties' colors match those of the Jamaicanflag) with the Greens and liberal FDP.

"Though we have common ground, the three-party coalitiongovernment will meet plenty of challenges , because we havedifferences in the economic, diplomatic and many other aspects,"said Mcallister.


In addition, the union's main rival SPD took just 20 percent ofthe vote and garnered the lowest vote since World War II, accordingto a preliminary exit poll.

For his part, Schulz said the election marked a "historic crash"for the SPD. But Thomas Oppermana , a senior official of the party,said Schulz will continue to be the president of the party despitethe "crash" and led the renovation of the party.

According to local media ARD, Schulz said his party had nointention to form a coalition government with the conservativeunion and "will go to the opposite".

He said his party is a "strong bulwark" against would-belawmakers from the right-wing AfD.

"We are a strong bulwark against the enemies of democracy thatwe now have in parliament," Schulz said in a televisioninterview.

He referred to the AfD's result as "depressing," saying thatwidespread fears about the refugee crisis had fuelled support forthe right-wing party.

"This is a turning point," said Schulz. "It's clear that thedecision to welcome refugees has divided our society. What is agreat act of humanity to some seems threatening to others. Wedidn't manage to convince people that Germany is strong enough toleave no one behind."

Lisa Price , official of SPD's state commission in Brandenburg,told Xinhua that refusing the grand coalition (CDUCSU plus SPD) isSPD's victory, because "SPD will finally have the opportunity toprove itself."

"Staying out the grand coalition will make SPD more distinctiveand could focus on such issues as the interests of the low-incomegroups as an opposition party," she told Xinhua.

Gerhard Stahl, a Berliner who has been an SPD since 1970s, nowprofessor with College of Europe in Brussels , said Schulz shouldnot hold the whole responsibility for SPD's loss.

"Being an opposition party can also give the people analternative. A lot of people are dissatisfied with the rulingcoalition, if the two largest party group form a grand coalitionagain, there will be no alternative for voters. If the governmentlet us down in the coming years, we can vote for SPD instead,"Stahl told Xinhua.


In another development, the AfD crossed the five-percent-votethreshold on Sunday came into the new parliament for the firsttime. It is also the first far-right populist party in theBundestag since WWII.

"We will hunt Merkel! We want to bring our country and peopleback ," said Alexander Gauland, one of the two candidates of the AfDin this election who always accuses Merkel's policies in refugeesand euro crisis.

"It's a historical and outstanding result for AfD. We willexperience more pluralism in the Bundestag, and we will experiencea lively democracy through the AfD," said AfD's politician BjoernHoecke.

However, Hoecke's joyful words met with protests anddemonstrations against AfD shortly after.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered on Berlin's Alexanderplatz onSunday evening, bearing umbrellas to keep dry and waving anti-AfDsigns to protest AfD's election result.

Later , the crowd shouted as one, "The w

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