Anti-Immigration Party Set to Beat Merkel in Her Home State

By Published on September 2, 2016

German Chancellor Angela Merkel could be dealt a huge blow Sunday, since the nationalist Alternative fur Deutschland party (AfD) looks set to beat Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in her home state.

A year has passed since Merkel announced her intentions of opening the floodgates to refugees in the historic “Wir schaffen das” (We can make it) address. More than one million refugees have since arrived and Merkel’s popularity has dropped to a five-year low.

One German state, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, holds its regional elections Sunday. A poll released Wednesday shows AfD leads CDU by three points and is the second largest party behind the Social Democrats. AfD, which launched as recently as 2013, has gained popularity since the start of the refugee crisis by appealing to dissatisfied CDU supporters. The party’s platform is based on stricter immigration laws and a reforms of the Islamic culture in Germany.

After successful state elections earlier this year, the party is represented in eight out of 16 state senates — Mecklenburg-Vorpommern would be the ninth. A victory there would also be significant since it’s the home state of Merkel.

Pressure has been building on Merkel from within her own party. She recently pushed back the decision on whether or not she wants to run for a fourth term as chancellor. The decision is rumored to depend on whether or not coalition partners are willing to back her.

 

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