Merkel's CDU party suffers heavy setbacks in two state elections


Christian Democratic Union party, CDU, Secretary General Paul Ziemiak holds a statement in Berlin, Germany, March 14, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

BERLIN - Germany's ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party suffered heavy setbacks in two state elections on Sunday, an inauspicious start in the key election year which is expected to produce a successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The votes in the southwestern states of Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate are the first of seven elections in Germany this year, including a federal election set in September.

The CDU garnered 23.6 percent of the vote, down from 27 percent in the last election, in its stronghold Baden-Wuerttemberg, while the Greens won 32.4 percent according to the preliminary result reported by local broadcaster ARD.

In Rhineland-Palatinate, the CDU got 26.8 percent of the vote while the Social Democratic Party (SPD) gained popularity by securing 36 percent of voter support, the exit poll showed.

CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak said the party "had wished for better results," but its national popularity has been waning due to the recent mask procurement scandal and its coronavirus policies.

Two members of parliament, one from CDU and another from its Bavarian sister party Christian Social Union (CSU), were exposed by local media that they had cashed in on the pandemic by brokering face mask deals.

What's more, the Germans were also frustrated with Merkel's conservative-led coalition over a slow vaccination progress due to supply shortages and excessive bureaucracy.

At the federal level, the CDU has witnessed its support rate decreasing from almost 40 percent last summer, when Germany was praised for its efficient measures in containing the pandemic, to around 33 percent this month.

Some analysts fear the loss in state elections could trigger chain reactions to the September federal election.

Since Merkel said she will not be running again as candidate for German chancellor, the rivalry within the conservative bloc to succeed her has been in the spotlight.

The negative results in the state elections could deal a blow to CDU Chairman Armin Laschet and help CSU's leader Markus Soeder. Both two are deemed as right for the job.

The CDU and the CSU operate as a political union in the federal parliament and will decide together in the coming months on their common chancellor candidate.

2021年3月14日,CDU基督教民主联盟秘书长保罗·齐米亚克在柏林发表声明。[图片/机构]

柏林——德国执政的基督教民主联盟(CDU)党在周日的两次州选举中遭遇严重挫折,这是关键选举年的一个不吉利的开端,预计选举年将产生总理安格拉·默克尔的继任者。


德国西南部的巴登-符腾堡州和莱茵兰-法尔茨州的投票是今年德国七次选举中的第一次,其中包括定于9月举行的联邦选举。


根据当地广播公司ARD报道的初步结果,CDU在其大本营巴登-符腾堡获得了23.6%的选票,低于上次选举的27%,而绿党获得了32.4%的选票。


出口民调显示,在莱茵兰-法尔茨,CDU获得了26.8%的选票,而社会民主党获得了36%的选民支持,从而获得了声望。


CDU总书记保罗·齐米亚克说,该党“希望取得更好的结果”,但由于最近的口罩采购丑闻和冠状病毒政策,该党在全国的支持率一直在下降。


两名议员,一名来自CDU,另一名来自巴伐利亚姐妹党基督教社会联盟(CSU),被当地媒体曝光,他们通过代理口罩交易利用了这一流行病。


此外,德国人还对默克尔领导的保守派联盟因供应短缺和过度官僚主义导致疫苗接种进展缓慢感到沮丧。


在联邦一级,CDU的支持率从去年夏天因有效控制疫情而受到称赞的近40%下降到本月的33%左右。


一些分析师担心,州选举的失败可能会引发对9月份联邦选举的连锁反应。


由于默克尔表示她不会再次竞选德国总理,保守党内部接替她的竞争一直是焦点。


州选举的负面结果可能会对CDU主席阿明·拉歇特造成打击,并帮助基社盟领导人马库斯·索德。这两个人都被认为适合这份工作。


CDU和基督教团结联盟在联邦议会中作为一个政治联盟运作,并将在未来几个月共同决定他们共同的总理候选人。


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