January 19, 2018

German Social Christians Turn to the Right After Elections

30 September 2017, 03:26 | Katie Chavez

Angela Merkel's CDU retained the largest share of the vote

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Global and domestic Jewish groups on Sunday expressed alarm at the far-right AfD's success in Germany's parliamentary election, with the European Jewish Congress urging other parties not to form an alliance with the AfD. Indeed, Merkel is counting on the Greens as well as the economically liberal Free Democratic Party (Act's equivalent) to form her next coalition. The AfD won 12.6% of the vote and 94 seats - and with those seats will come financial resources and greater visibility.

Josef Schuster, president of the German Central Council of Jews, said the party "tolerates far-right thoughts and agitates against minorities".

Meanwhile, another ally of Merkel's, the Social Democrats, fared rather badly in the elections, forcing them to review their stance quite from the basics.

Pressure is growing on CSU leader and Bavarian State Premier Horst Seehofer to resign after the election setback, but Söder said the party had agreed to focus on coalition talks for now, and to defer personnel matters until mid-November.

Another map based on the second vote share for the AfD shows that most of the party's support was in the east of Germany.

One of AfD's leaders, Alice Weidel, said it will provide "constructive opposition". This is mostly because of the SPD's 20.5%, the party's worst ever result. A grand coalition would leave a vacuum that would be filled by another party, one probably to the left of Labour or the right of National. Some supporters chanted "AfD!"

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Their result also comes after Germany welcomed more than 1 million refugees.

The new parliament's "council of elders" must be formed within 30 days of the German election, leaving its members until October 24 to agree on a seating and room order.

Many Germans see the rise of the AfD as a similar rejection of the status quo as votes for Brexit and Donald Trump a year ago.

"The SPD was a major loser in this election and they don't want to work with [Merkel's Christian Democrats]". Researchers hope that the government's commitment to science will continue, but expect little substantive policy change over the next parliament.

"It will now be much more challenging for her to build a coalition in the first place because she will have to deal with two different parties, with different cultures", Olaf Boehnke, senior adviser at Rasmussen Global, said. That left a coalition between Merkel's Christian Democrats, their Bavarian sister party, the FDP and the Greens as the only potential option.

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