Merkel Allies Call For New Party Leader After Worst Election Since 1949

REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing harsh criticism from her allies after the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) won Sunday’s general election despite the politician’s declining support.

CDU had its worst election since 1949 as it dropped seven percentage points compared to 2013. Merkel claimed responsibility for the results: and conservative allies have urged the party to rethink its migrant policy.

Some people even called for Merkel’s resignation as party leader in hope to regain momentum.

“It’s important for there to be new momentum, for the party to no longer be ruled from the chancellery,” said Alexander Mitsch, the chair of conservative group called FKA, according to Deutsche Welle. “There are a lot of good people in the so-called second row of the party who would be in the position to take over the party leadership.”

Merkel is attempting to get the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) and the Green party to join CDU and its sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) in a coalition. Immigration appears to be the largest hurdle for Merkel, as CSU wants a cap on the number of migrants the country lets in. FDP and the Greens are strictly opposed to such an idea, and they have instead called for a points-based system for refugees and other immigrants.

“The truth is, there is an arithmetical majority, but the four parties each have their own election mandates,” FDP leader Christian Lindner told Die Welt Wednesday. “Whether these can be allied without contradiction and in the interests of the country remains to be seen.”

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