German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union emerged the largest party in the federal election on Sunday while the nationalist Alternative for Deutschland became the first far-right party to enter the country’s parliament in six decades, Reuters reported.
Of the 690 seats, Merkel’s party won 238 seats and 32.8% of the vote share. While the Social Democratic Party finished second with 148 seats, the anti-immigration Alternative for Deutschland was the third-largest party with 95 seats and 13% vote share.
Merkel’s party lost 9% of its vote from the previous election and performed its worst since 1949. “Of course we had hoped for a slightly better result,” Merkel said after the results were announced. But she added, “We are the strongest party, we have the mandate to build the next government – and there cannot be a coalition government built against us.”
A party needs 346 seats to stake claim to the German Bundestag. This means Merkel is likely to ally with the Liberal Free Democrats, which has 78 seats, and the Grune Party that bagged 65 seats, according to Reuters.
Protests in Germany
Protests erupted in Germany soon after the Alternative for Deutschland won 13% of the vote share, DeutscheWelle reported. Opponents of the far-right party took to the streets in the capital Berlin, in Cologne and Hamburg.
About 700 demonstrators gathered on Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, waving anti-Alternative for Deutschland signs. Protestors chanted slogans like, “Racism is not an alternative”, “Nazis out!” and “The whole of Berlin hates the AfD!”. The building housed the Alternative for Deutschland’s victory party. Unidentified Berlin police officers also told DeutscheWelle that the demonstrators hurled bottles and stones at them when they attempted to clear the demonstrators from the area.