Germany votes next month, in an election where Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been in power since 2006, will try to secure a historic fourth term. But nothing can be taken for granted, especially after the world witnessed the rise of Donald Trump in the United States of America and Emmanuel Macron in France. This coupled with the fact that Britain voted to leave the European Union and Prime Minister Theresa May called for snap general elections in what she believed would strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations.
The two main contenders of the election are two centrists from the dominant center-right and center-left parties: conservative incumbent Angela Merkel and social democrat Martin Schulz. Also Read: German Election 2017: All you need to know, from Angela Merkel to Christian Lindner
When is the 2017 German election?
The country goes to polls on September 24. The elections are always held on a Sunday. Voting closes at 6pm local time. Exit polls are quite accurate and by the end of the day, a clear picture of the winner should emerge. However, coalition building is a tedious process that could possibly take weeks or even months before a new government is formed.
Despite its understated campaigns, the election is likely to be a watershed moment in German politics as no far-right party has managed to send delegates to the German Parliament since the defeat of the Nazis in 1945. This, in all probability, will change on Sunday.
What can be the likely coalition combinations?
Many Germans would prefer the current ruling coalition between German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the the Social Democratic Party (SPD) — the two strongest, centrist mainstream blocs. If Merkel wins, she could also enter into a coalition with either the libertarian Free Democratic Party or the Green Party — both of which performed poorly in 2013 but are poised to make a comeback now.