Monday, September 23, 2013

Merkel Elected to a Third Term as Chancellor of Germany

by Gosia Labno


"This is a super result," declared German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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On Sunday, September 22, Chancellor Merkel, leader of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), celebrated a landslide victory over the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Roughly two million votes went to the party, making the results the best that the party has seen since 1994.  Merkel’s win makes her the only leader of a European Union member state to be reelected since the eurozone crisis.  

The CDU’s last coalition partner, the liberal Free Democratic Party, did not gain any seats in the Bundestag – a shocking loss not seen since the party’s creation in 1949.  Negotiations for a grand coalition with the Social-Democrats have already begun. 

The anti-Euro Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party received a surprising 4.7% of the vote – about half a million votes—just short of the 5% threshold needed to gain seats in the German parliament.  The Pirate Party was also unable to obtain enough votes to earn any seats.

The distribution of seats in the Bundestag will be: 
CDU/CSU: 311 seats
SDP: 192 seats
Left Party: 64 seats
Green Party: 63 seats

The EU Observer reports that Merkel has no plans to change Germany’s relationship with the rest of Europe. Merkel stated, “We will continue our European politics, this is the most important message to the people. European politics is part of our core brand and we will continue that in spirit.”

The European Union Center will host a videoconference panel discussion on the outcomes and impacts of the German elections with the EU Center of Excellence & European Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh. The event will take place on Thursday, September 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 507 E. Green St, Room 411, Champaign, IL. A recording of the discussion will be made available for those unable to attend.

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