Germany's centre-left closing on Merkel's lead in polls

  • Germany's centre-left closing on Merkel's lead in polls

Germany's centre-left closing on Merkel's lead in polls

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian ally yesterday said it supported her candidacy in a coming general election, despite her rejection of its demand to cap the number of refugees that the country takes in each year.

Merkel and CSU leader Horst Seehofer are due to present their joint election strategy later on Monday.

Though the CSU and CDU - sister parties - usually campaign together in national elections, their unity had been in doubt after Mr Seehofer split with Dr Merkel over her refugee policy.

Merkel was elected Germany's first female Chancellor in 2005 and has emerged as arguably the most powerful political figure in Europe at a time when the European Union has faced deep economic and political problems. During more than a decade in office, she has guided Germany through the financial crisis of 2008 and the eurozone crisis, among others. The populist AfD was projected third with 12 per cent, followed by the hard-left Die Linke on 10 per cent.

Bavarian governor and head of the Christian Social Union party Horst Seehofer left and German chancellor and head of the German Christian Democrats Ang
Germany's centre-left closing on Merkel's lead in polls

On February 6, the CDU and CSU heads are scheduled to meet with the SPD counterparts in Munich to discuss Germany's asylum laws.

And in a new challenge, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) has seen a sharp rise in support in recent days under new leader Martin Schulz, the former president of the European parliament. If the gap between the two parties' results is small enough and since the victor is very unlikely to secure enough votes to form a non-coalition government, SDP might have just enough clout to dictate the terms of such an alliance to the Union instead of vice versa, paving the road to chancellor's seat for Martin Schulz.

Ahead of the poll, which is expected on September 24, the election campaign looks set to be dominated by the migrant issue and domestic security.

Seehofer said that in a "world in turmoil" the way Berlin defined its relations with London, Washington and Moscow was "of utmost importance for the people of Germany".