'Hard Confrontations' Ahead With Far-Right Party In German Parliament, Merkel Says

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 26, 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday huddled with her party after winning a fourth term with a far weaker score, facing the double headache of an emboldened nationalist opposition party and thorny coalition talks.

Germany's far-right anti-gay party has won seats in the country's Parliament for the first time in more than half a century.

The AfD won 13.0 percent of the vote - more than expected and one of many shocks on a night of drama that saw Merkel's conservatives get their worst result since 1949, and her main Social Democrat (SPD) rivals their worst since 1933.

The Social Democratic Party is likely to remain the chief opposition party, weakening the political impact of the AfD despite its third-place showing, said Sergey Lagodinsky, a political activist with the Green Party and member of the Berlin Jewish Community Council.

The most politically plausible option is a three-way coalition with the pro-business Free Democrats and the traditionally left-leaning Greens.

Petry, who is party chairwoman, walked out of a press conference today that was meant to mark the AfD's historic showing after "months of feuding between her and the rest of the AfD leadership", Germany's Deutsche Welle says.

President Muhammadu Buhari joins world leaders and well-wishers in congratulating German Chancellor Angela Merkel on her victory at the polls. The Social Democrats appear to have been hurt badly by being in government, making it hard to distinguish themselves from Merkel's conservatives. She added that it was not a "matter of course" to finish first after 12 years in power, and that the past four years were "extremely challenging".

All mainstream parties have ruled out working with AfD and Mrs Merkel's conservatives will not form a coalition with the Left Party.

Meanwhile, Buhari wishes the German Chancellor a successful tenure.

"We have started to analyse the voters we lost, especially with regards to those who went on to vote for the AfD, we want to get them back by good politics and addressing some of the issues", Mrs Merkel said. "We trust that centrist parties in the Bundestag will ensure that the AfD has no representation in the coming governing coalition", he noted. His party had also suffered its worst result in decades.

While the EJC leader was expressing the deep concerns of European Jewry, however, Alexander Gauland, co-leader of the far-right AfD party said in a statement to media on Monday that Jews have "nothing to fear" from the election result.

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