Merkel Loses Control Of Berlin After Worst-Ever Election

REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) had its worst-ever election in Berlin Sunday, when the party was voted out of power.

Surging nationalist party Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) was declared the big winner after reaching a high share of votes in notoriously liberal Berlin. Merkel’s CDU, on the other hand, suffered its worst election results in the capital since Germany’s reunification in 1990.

CDU has been losing seats in state assemblies across Germany throughout the year as people show dissatisfaction with Merkel’s open-door immigration stance. CDU dropped almost six points from the election in 2011, finishing with just 17.5 percent of the votes, and will no longer be part of the governing coalition.

The result follows another disastrous election for Merkel in her home state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania Sept. 4, when CDU finished behind AfD. CDU managed to stay ahead of AfD this time around, but the anti-immigration party was happy with getting representation in a new constituency.

“We have achieved a great result,” said AfD deputy leader Beatrix von Storch, according to Deutsche Welle. “The AfD has arrived in the German capital and is also on a direct path to the Bundestag.”

The Social Democratic Party was the biggest party with 21.6 percent and is expected to rule in a coalition with the Green and Left parties.

The national election takes place in 2017. Merkel hasn’t decided if she will run for a fourth term as chancellor.

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