Voting for the federal elections in Germany was held on Sunday, with Chancellor Angela Merkel seeking a fourth term in office, BBC reported. Polling stations opened at 8 am local time (11.30 am Indian Standard Time) and will close at 6 pm local time (9.30 pm Indian Standard Time).
While Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union is the ruling party, its main opposition in this election is the Social Democratic Party, which was in a coalition with the Christian Democratic Union before the election.
The first exit polls and projected result will come out soon after the polling ends. Merkel’s party is expected to retain its majority in the 598-seat Bundestag, but the far-right Alternative für Deutschland is likely to enter the parliament for the first time, according to The Guardian. All five opinion polls before the election had predicted that the Alternative für Deutschland would get 10% to 13% of the vote.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier appealed to the public to vote. “Those who don’t vote let others decide the future of the country,” he wrote in the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag. “Perhaps it has never been so noticeable that elections are also about the future and democracy of Europe”.
This year, 6.15 crore people are eligible to vote. In 2013, during the last federal election, 29% of the registered voters did not vote.