On the eve of the elections, Merkel gathers for Laschet and Schulz promises a “big change” | Politics and Economy | In-depth analysis with a broader perspective from DW | DW

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged voters Saturday (September 25, 2021) to vote for her coalition candidate Armin Laschet to “shape Germany’s future”, in a last-ditch effort to bolster his campaign hours before the polls begin.

Viral carcasses (60 year-old, came second behind his Social-Democratic rival Olaf Scholz to win the chancellorship, although final polls indicate that the difference between them is limited to the margin of error, which makes the elections the most ambiguous in years.

And Merkel planned to stay out of the limelight in the electoral battle as she prepares to withdraw from the political arena after… 16 years in power. But she found herself compelled to enter the campaign program of her party’s leader, Laschet, who is not widely popular.

In the last week of the election campaign, Merkel escorted her party’s candidate to her constituency overlooking the Baltic Sea, while on Friday at the head of a final rally attended by major conservative figures in Munich.

In an appeal to elderly-dominated voters Friday, Merkel called for the conservatives to be kept in power for the stability that has always characterized Germany. And the Christian Social Party is the biggest force.”

Merkel said Laschet is a “bridge builder who will be able to convince people”.

“It is about your future and the future of your children.”
The day before the election, I went to Laschet and his constituency Aachen, a resort town near Germany’s western border with Belgium and the Netherlands, where the candidate was born and still lives. “It is about your future, the future of your children, and the future of your parents,” she said at her last gathering before the elections, calling for strong mobilization in favor of her conservative alliance.

She stressed that climate protection will be the most important challenge for the next government, but she stressed that this will not be achieved through “simply laws and rules.” She reported that Laschet is a “bridge builder who will be able to persuade people” to shape Germany to meet these challenges.

Hundreds of thousands took to the streets on Friday, calling for change and better protection of the climate, while a prominent activist described the vote as the “century” elections.

“Big change in this country”
As the countdown to the elections began, Schulz also sought votes. In response to questions from voters in his constituency Potsdam, a city on the outskirts of Berlin famous for its palaces that used to be the seat of Prussian kings, Schulz said he was fighting for “a great change in this country, a new government” under his leadership.

He gave a glimpse of the future government that he hopes to lead, saying: “It may be enough, for example, to form a government between the Social Democratic Party and the Greens.”

Schulz, the current finance minister in Merkel’s coalition government, avoided making mistakes during the election campaign and won broad support by presenting himself as a “continuity candidate” after Merkel rather than Laschet. While described as having potential despite being considered a boring character, Schultz time and time again has outstripped Laschet by way of popularity.

Schulz is reticent about his party’s vote on any upcoming coalition
Today, Saturday, Schulz reacted conservatively to the idea of ​​party members voting to form any coalition at the federal level. During one of his last election events, Schulz said in an interview with the media pioneer in Potsdam that the party would decide this when it had to be done.
This came as a reaction from Schulz to a proposal by the Socialist Party Vice President Kevin Kunert, who had announced that this vote of members was supposed to take place before any coalition was formed, noting that the Socialist Party was the “participation party”.

At the same time, Schulz confirmed that the voting in his party was working in the last period, but he demanded regarding this proposal to wait for election day. The base was the Socialist Party voted in 2013 The Socialists entered into a grand coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian alliance. Schulz had lost in a similar vote for the leadership of the party that took place in 2019 Incumbent party leaders Zaskia Esken and Neubert-Walter-Borjans won the vote.

On the other hand, Schulz emphasized his good relationship with FDP leader Christian Linder and explained that although he does not raise the cost of talking with Linder, it is possible to talk to him reliably.

Conservatives cut the difference
However, with the election date approaching, the Conservatives led by Laschet are narrowing the difference, and one poll indicated that the difference between them and the Social Democrats (26 percent) is one percentage point.

Laschet ran for chancellorship badly damaged by a tough battle to win the Conservative nomination for chancellor. But his party was ahead of the Social Democrats with the advent of the summer.

However, Laschet was seen laughing behind German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier as he gave a speech in honor of the victims of the deadly floods that swept Germany in July, in a scene that transformed the public mood towards him and his party.

And while the polls revealed that the difference was increasing in favor of the Social Democrats, the conservatives could only turn to their most important figure – Merkel – who remains widely popular.

Reliance on the chancellor is not without risk, said political analyst Oscar Niedermaier of the Free University of Berlin. “Merkel is still the most popular politician,” he said. But their frequent appearances together may turn into a problem for Laschet as they will immediately be compared,” he added, “and it can therefore be counterproductive given that people may think that Merkel is more appropriate than Laschet.”
M.A.H/KHS (DPA, AFP)

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