Merkel’s party wins the key state vote. Exit vote |: German news

Germany’s Christian Democrats are avoiding the far-right AfD challenge with 36 percent of the vote, according to exit polls.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Conservatives won a landslide victory in the German general election on Sunday in favor of Armin Laschet, who hopes to succeed him in the September general election.

The Christian Democrats (CDU) won 36 percent of the vote in the Saxon-Anhalt election on public broadcaster MDR, up more than six points from five years ago, well ahead of the far-right German alternative (AfD) in previous elections. decreased slightly by 22.5%.

Central Lhaschett was supposed to start its campaign indefinitely, facing calls for a more right-wing approach to returning voters who were frustrated by Merkel’s 16-year compromise.

“We have won the election,” said Saxony-Anhalt Prime Minister Rainer Hasseloff after the exit polls were released. “Most of our citizens have said we do not want to contact the AfD. And for that I am grateful. “

He and other conservatives hailed the result as a tailgate for them ahead of the federal election.

“This will give us a boost in Berlin,” said Ralph Brinkhaus, head of the National Conservative group. “It is the victory of Armin Lashet.”

Armin Laschet hopes to succeed German Chancellor Angela Merkel in September national elections [Marcel Kusch/Pool via Reuters]

In recent years, the AfD has moved steadily to the right, with its Saxony-Anhalt branch for links to extremist groups under tighter control by Germany’s internal intelligence service.

Although elections in the 16 German states are often influenced by local issues and voting moods, they are also seen as potential bells for the national mood.

The CDU strong victory will be a sign that the new leader of the party Lashchet can count on support from both conservatives and centrists on September 26, when he aims to stay in power at the federal level despite four-year Chancellor Merkel. not to run again

At the same time, the outcome of the election, if the predictions based on partial calculations are confirmed, will be a strong endorsement for Hasseloff, who now has the convenience of being able to choose from three possible coalitions with smaller parties.

The 67-year-old, whose state was gaining traction with voters, ruled out any collaboration with the AfD or the former Communist Left Party, which was expected to garner 10.9 percent of the vote, a record low in the state. ,

The center-left Social Democrats, Merkel’s junior partners in the ruling coalition, were also worse off than they were five years ago, gaining about 8.4 percent and the Greens modest gains of 6.2 percent.

For Green Leader Analena Baerbok, the CDU’s success went to voters who wanted to block the AfD. “Many people voted for the CDU because they ‘did not want right-wing extremists in government,'” he said.

He acknowledged, however, that the Greens’ performance was lower than expected, as he blamed the “special” polling station in Saxony-Anhalt for the performance.

Greens are traditionally weaker in less urban East Germany, which depends more on the carbon industry that the Greens hope to eliminate.

Predictions also showed that supporters of the Free Democrats business re-entered the state assembly after losing five years ago, gaining 6.5 percent.

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