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The CDU hopes victory in regional polls will derail Germany’s Green Party


Elections in a small eastern German country with fewer people than Berlin may mark a turning point in a year that will determine who will succeed Angela Merkel as leader of Europe’s largest economy.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union won an unforgettable victory in Saxony-Anhalt On Sunday, he took 37 percent of the vote — seven percentage points more than the last state election in 2016 and 16 points ahead of the far-right runner-up. alternative to Germany (AfD).

The result gave a huge boost to Armin Laschet, CDU’s candidate for chancellor in the September Bundestag elections, which has been overshadowed by popular popularity in recent weeks vegetables. But the environmental party fared poorly in Saxony-Anhalt, scoring just 5.9 per cent.

Many in the CDU say the result proves that the Greens’ luster is fading. “They have lost their charm,” said Christoph Bloss, leader of the CDU party in Hamburg.

Saxony-Anhalt could mark the end of the drought for the CDU. The party was hit by a corruption scandal Some of its deputies include, a bitter battle معركة Between Laschet and Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder on who should run for center-right chancellor, and public frustration with Slow start of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign.

Some in the party now hope the tide has turned. Lifting the six-month coronavirus ban and the prospect of a regular summer vacation improved voters’ mood, boosting CDU polls and a higher approval rating for Laschet.

Backed by Sunday’s result, some Christian Democrats are comparing it to a pivotal moment in recent German political history — the dramatic derailed From the so-called “Scholes Train” in 2017.

That year, the Social Democrats were leading in the opinion polls, and their leader, Martin Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament, appeared in class to remove Merkel as chancellor in the fall elections.

But the wheels stalled his campaigning after regional elections delivered a convincing victory for the CDU: Saarland in March and North Rhine-Westphalia in May. The SPD ended up with 20.5 percent in the national election, its worst result after the war.

Frederic Merz, a leading politician in the CDU, has suggested the same fate may befall Annalena Barbock, the Green MP who enjoyed a media honeymoon after being named the Greens’ first-ever candidate for chancellor in April. “The Barbock train derailed this evening,” he wrote on Twitter on Sunday evening.

“Burbock was just as cheerful as Schulz was,” Bloss said. But now it is measured according to different standards. People are starting to think about what green government might mean, and they realize that a lot will change for the worse.”

Martin Schulz, former SPD leader: The likely fate of the Greens has been compared to that of his own party, which rose in the polls before suffering a massive electoral defeat in 2017 © Christoph Hardt / Geisler-Fotopres

Green candidate for chancellor Annalena Barbock: Support for her party is not just a ‘flash,’ say experts © Kay Nietfeld / dpa

Asked on Monday if he agreed with Schulz’s analogy, Laschet objected. “These comparisons to trains – I don’t make them myself,” he said. “[Baerbock] He is the main competitor, and I take all competitors very seriously.”

But he added that the result of the Green Party in Saxony-Anhalt could hardly be described as a “huge boom” caused by Berbock since the Greens finished fifth, behind the pro-business Liberal Democrats, traditionally one of the smallest parties in the Bundestag.

The Barbouk campaign was facing Strong headwinds Even before Sunday’s result. She was forced to apologize last month after admitting she had failed to report some of her income from the Green Party leadership to Parliament, as required, until March. The Greens also had to make changes to it Official CV After the local media revealed the inaccuracy. She said, for example, that she was a member of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees when she was only supporting an organization that raised money for the United Nations refugee agency.

However, experts say that the comparison with Schulz is inappropriate. “In 2017, the SPD bubble expanded and burst within a few months,” said Robert Fehrkamp, ​​professor of political science at the Bertelsmann Foundation, a think-tank.

The Green Party has been doing polls aggressively for the past two years [to] Three years and consistently good performance in regional elections during that period. There is no flicker in the pan.”

Experts say the CDU should also resist drawing too many conclusions from the Saxony-Anhalt race. The state, which was once part of communist East Germany, accounts for only 3 percent of the country’s voting-age population. It is also unusual to be the stronghold of the AfD, which scored 21 per cent on Sunday. After opinion polls suggested the right-wing could win outright, many leftists sought to stop it by switching their allegiance to the CDU. Such voter behavior is unlikely to occur at the national level.

Analysts say Sunday’s vote does not spell disaster for the Greens. Their train didn’t jump [off] Fehrekmet said. “But it will obviously be more difficult than they had hoped.”



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