Federal elections in Germany are on, the Merkel era is over

BERLIN, ($1=0.85 Euros) – Parliamentary elections are held in Germany today, September 26, Angela Merkel did not run in these elections and leaves the post of Chancellor after 16 years in power, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

The main candidates for the chancellor’s office are Armin Laschet, representing Merkel’s HDZ / HSS union, Olaf Scholz of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, and Analena Burbock of the Greens.

374 deputies are needed to form a ruling coalition in the new Bundestag. Arithmetically, this can currently be achieved by the HDZ / HSS and SPD, which would be a continuation of the current ruling coalition. Also, in theory, the government can be formed by the HDZ / HSS and the SPD together with the Free Democrats; HDZ / HSS, Greens and Free Democrats [the so-called Jamaican Coalition]; SPD, Greens, and Free Democrats [traffic light coalition]. Experts consider the last two versions of the coalition to be the most likely.

Polls in recent weeks have shown that voters have a preference for the Social Democrats. The latest survey conducted by the “Elections” research group for the ZDF Politbarometer television program was published on September 23. According to this survey, the Social Democratic Party of Germany continues to hold the lead with 25% of voter support. The HDZ / HSS party union can count on 23% of the vote, the Greens – 16.5%. The Free Democratic Party of Germany can get 11% of the vote, the right-wing “Alternative for Germany” – 10%, the “left” – 6%.

Elections to the German Parliament [Bundestag] are held every four years. On September 26, 2021, the 20th Bundestag will be elected. Following the election, at the suggestion of the German president, the new parliament will elect a chancellor.

Elections

Voting on Sunday will last from 8:00 to 18:00, at 18:00 the first exit polls will appear. In the afternoon, the Federal Statistical Office, which performs the function of the election commission, will publish the election activity at 14:00.

Voters have two votes in an election. The first is given for the deputy of the constituency at the place of registration, as there are a total of 299. The second vote is given for the regional list of a political party so that another 299 deputies are elected. The number of deputies can vary – the more “second” votes a party receives, the more seats it will be guaranteed in the new parliament. The “standard” composition of the Bundestag is 598, but it can be increased if one party receives more “second” votes on the ballot.

The current Bundestag has 709 members. The strongest faction with 245 seats is the HDZ, in alliance with its traditional Bavarian partner, the HSS. Together with the SPD, which has 152 votes in parliament, the Christian Democrats form the so-called “big” ruling coalition. It is so-called because it consists of representatives of the two largest political forces in the country. The right-wing Alternative for the German party has 87 seats in parliament, the Free Democratic Party has 80 seats, and the Left Party has 69 seats. The Greens are represented in the current Bundestag by 67 members.

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