Tags: bavaria | germany | vote | merkel | coalition | immigration

Will Sunday Vote in Bavaria Be Merkel's 'Last Hurrah?'

angela merkel speaks
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a press conference with the new Polish Prime Minister at the Chancellery on February 16, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

By Sunday, 14 October 2018 07:46 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Imagine a race for governor of Texas determining whether President Trump remains in the White House and the reader will quickly understand why the world’s eyes are fast riveting on state elections in Bavaria (Germany) this Sunday.

Should the ruling Christian Social Union (CSU) fail to retain their majority in the 180-member Landtag (state parliament) that it has held for all but three years since 1946, then a nationwide political tidal wave could easily bring down the CSU’s senior partner in the federal government: the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its leader, German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Simply put, a defeat Sunday for the CSU could spell the end of the woman who has led Germany for the past thirteen years and was considered the “Queen of Europe” until her controversial 2015 decision to open the doors to 1.2 million refugees from the Middle East.

An exit by Merkel, 63, and her replacement with a lesser-known politician from her CDU would drastically weaken Germany’s modern role as the major player in the 28-member European Union and the Eurozone (the 19 EU members who use the Euro currency).

As the home to 16 percent of the German population and the source of 18.3 percent of the German gross domestic product, Bavaria is a state now critical to Merkel’s future. Many who plan to vote against the CSU are undoubtedly doing so as a way of letting her know they have what the Financial Times dubbed “Merkel Fatigue.”

According to a just-completed poll by the German broadcaster ARD, support for the CSU has fallen to a record low of 33 percent, followed by the Green Party at 18 percent.

The Social Democrats, who are in Merkel’s “grand coalition” at the federal level, drew 11 per cent in the poll and thus just edged out the nationalist AfD (Alternate for Germany) 10 percent.

Now six years old, the AfD holds 96 seats in the Bundestag (federal parliament) and continues to grow stronger in state elections because of its spirited opposition to Merkel’s “open borders” decision on immigrants.

“I think we left a void on our right flank,” Carsten Linnemann, a CDU Member of the Bundestag (federal parliament) and leader of its right-of-center, told the FT, “Nature abhors a vacuum, and in politics, it always gets filled—in this case, by the AfD.”

Failure of the CSU to hold its majority in Bavaria would lead to an angry “blame game.”

“You’ll see more inner fights within the CSU, scapegoating between [the CSU's Horst] Seehofer and Bavarian State Premier [Markus] Soeder, pointing at each other and arguing who’s responsible for the disaster,” according to Martin Klingst, editor-at-large of the venerable German publication Die Ziet, “They’ve already started fighting before the election.”

Soeder campaigns not with Chancellor Merkel but Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, a critic of the Merkel immigration policies.

Should an embattled Seehofer be forced to resign as party leader, he would almost surely give up his Cabinet position. His exit could easily lead the other two CSU ministers in Merkel’s Cabinet to go and take their party’s 46 Bundestag Members with them—thus forcing Merkel to either form a new government or call new elections a year after Germany’s last trip to the ballot box.

Under such circumstances, betting is strong that Merkel would not try to cling to the chancellorship through either a minority government or a newly-cobbled coalition. That chore, Berlin sources told Newsmax, would almost surely fall to one of Merkel’s closest allies: Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, general secretary (chairman) of the CDU and one of the chancellor’s closest political friends.

While the present policies would not change much under the lady popularly known as “AKK,” the present strong hand of Germany in its dealings with Europe would not be as strong as it was for so long under “Iron Angie.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Imagine a race for governor of Texas determining whether President Trump remains in the White House and the reader will quickly understand why the world's eyes are fast riveting on state elections in Bavaria (Germany) this Sunday.Should the ruling Christian Social Union...
bavaria, germany, vote, merkel, coalition, immigration
Sunday, 14 October 2018 07:46 AM
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