Elections in Germany
The political extremes, The Left and Alternative for Germany, are the great losers in the elections
The center has won the legislative elections in Germany. While in other European and world countries the extremes of the political spectrum and rabid populism continue to determine national politics in many cases, in this country the electorate has made it clear that they want to be governed by a moderate executive at the end of the Angela Merkel era. Without forgetting that the conservatives have suffered a historical setback, which does not necessarily imply the loss of power, the great defeats of the election day this Sunday in Germany are the Left party, the formation that has brought together the ex-communists of the extinct since 2007 GDR and a dissident Social Democratic wing, and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).
With 4.9% of the votes, almost half of those obtained four years ago, the former have been on the verge of losing their parliamentary representation. Only the fact of obtaining 3 direct mandates in as many districts of eastern Berlin, has freed them from their expulsion from the Bundestag, where they will have 39 deputies.
The disastrous result has also put an end to the dreams of the Left of giving a radical turn to German politics and forming a progressive coalition with the Social Democrats and the Greens, which the other two parties did not rule out as possible in the campaign. The sum of the three does not give a parliamentary majority.
The social democratic candidate has managed to reactivate an acronym that nobody bet on a year ago
The president of the CDU, who this Sunday showed a circumspect gesture, knows that his political future is at stake if he does not head the Executive
The Greens and the Liberals do not achieve their electoral goals, but will decide which candidate becomes the new chancellor
The proposal to liquidate NATO and create a new European security system that includes Russia, its proximity to the authoritarian regimes of Moscow and Beijing or its initiative so that the German army does not participate more in international peace missions have scared voters . The party has to “re-establish itself”, acknowledged this Monday the co-president of The Left, Susanne Hennig-Wellsow, after acknowledging the “serious defeat”, the “painful loss of votes” and the fact that his miraculous access to parliament “is the last chance ”to regenerate and demonstrate that they are the political option that“ best defends social justice ”.
But also the extreme right, racist and eurosceptic, of Alternative for Germany has left behind its electoral zenith. Although less punished by the electorate, AfD has lost 2.3 points to 3% of votes in the previous elections, but it has also given up the leadership of the opposition that the recently finalized legislature had as the third national force and has seen outperformed by greens and liberals. They lose 9 deputies and go down to 83 seats.
In West Germany they are already an anecdotal match. In the regional legislative elections this Sunday in the city-state of Berlin, they lost more than six points and fell to 8%. They are left with the consolation of their strength in the depths of eastern Germany, where they continue to dominate the protest vote and have become the leading force in states such as Thuringia and Saxony, hotbeds of German neo-Nazism. But in all of Germany they know that they do not paint anything, from the moment in which the isolation agreed by the rest of the parties turns them into a marginalized formation and without the possibility of becoming any government partner.
In campaign they have gone almost unnoticed. His battle theme, the reception of refugees and immigration, has not worried the majority of Germans for years and on the issue that now most interests citizens, the danger of climate change, they hold positions close to those of the Brazilian president , Jair Bolsonaro. And although the sword of Damocles of systematic surveillance by the intelligence services weighs on them due to their political extremism, it is to be expected that the party will become even more radical. Its president, Jörg Meuthen, underlined when commenting on the results that “we have not had a great victory, but we have not suffered a great defeat either”, although “if we want to progress we must have the same success in the west as in the east”. He stressed that AfD should not become the “Lega Ost”, the Eastern League in reference to its Italian colleagues.