General election marks the end of the Merkel era
It is expected that Ms. Merkel will remain in office until the new government is sworn in. The longer the coalition negotiations drag on, the greater the chances that Dr Reich Chancellor Otto von Bismarck will in the second half of the 19th century.
As a member of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) – the junior member of Ms. Merkel’s conservatively led two-party coalition – Mr. Scholz, 63, is a centrist known less for his charisma than for a long political career with a key cabinet and party posts.
These include a popular job as Hamburg’s mayor and a previous job as Federal SPD General Secretary in Berlin, where he was nicknamed âScholzomatâ for his robot-assisted voice output.
Real estate crisis
Whatever the final score, the SPD vote marks a remarkable comeback for the party, which was written off in the last election in 2017 after its votes fell to a record low of just 20.5 percent.
The result plunged the party into a struggle between its left and more centrist factions for direction, while adding questions about the future of social democracy in Europe.
The SPD could also emerge victorious in two important state elections, in the northeast of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and in the city-state of Berlin.
In order to underline the role of the housing crisis in the election campaign, the Berlin voters also took part in a referendum on the public takeover of large private rental housing groups.
The most important conservative rival of Mr. Scholz, Armin Laschet, went with his image as a “candidate for stability” at the beginning of the campaign as the front runner for the successor to Dr. Merkel emerged.
The son of a miner and lawyer is Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous federal state in Germany and the traditional industrial core of the state. But after a bloody fight earlier this year, he was unable to unite with the country’s voters to lead the election campaign of Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democrats and her allies in the Bavarian CSU as the bloc’s candidate for chancellor.
Mr. Laschet’s political fortune plummeted after a series of embarrassing campaign errors and debacles. In one, he was caught laughing in front of the camera in front of the camera during a celebratory speech by the German Federal President Frank Walter-Steinmeier to the victims of the flood disaster in July.
Climate change is an important campaign issue. The new German government will also have an economy that is still battling the aftermath of the pandemic, mainly due to frictions in the supply chain.
The Munich-based Ifo economic institute announced on Friday that its closely monitored German business confidence indicator fell for the third month in a row in September after the think tank lowered its growth forecast for 2021 from an original estimate of 3.3 percent to 2.5 percent .
According to the Ifo, growth is expected to increase to over 5 percent next year. Another key economic indicator – the number of new coronavirus cases and vaccinations – shows a positive trend, with the number of people fully vaccinated against the virus in the country exceeding 63 percent and the daily number of cases falling.