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Experts: Germany to maintain its political course after parliamentary elections

21:56 | 17.07.2021 | Analytic

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17 July 2021. PenzaNews. The conservative bloc within the Christian Democratic and Christian Social Unions (CDU/CSU) leads the German electoral rating, while the gap from its closest rival, the Union90/Greens party, is 11 percentage points. This is evidenced by the data of a survey conducted by the Institute for the Study of Public Opinion INSA from 5 to 9 July 2021, in which 1,352 people took part.

Experts: Germany to maintain its political course after parliamentary elections

Photo: Norbert Aepli, Wikipedia.org

According to data published in the Bild newspaper, if the elections to the Bundestag were held on Sunday, 28% of respondents would vote for the CDU/CSU; the Greens would receive 17% and the same amount would be received by the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The Free Democratic Party (FDP) would come in forth, according to the survey, 12% of respondents would give their votes for it. The Alternative for Germany party (AfD) would be supported by 11%; Die Linke party would get 8%.

The German federal election is expected to be held on 26 September. The winning party will have the right to form a government, and the leader of its party list will lead the cabinet after it is successfully formed.

Commenting on the pre-election situation in Germany, Michael Broening, a political analyst with the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, a member of the basic value commission of the German Social Democrats, suggested that there will be no fundamental changes in the country’s policy.

“While the upcoming elections in September certainly deserve the monicker ‘historic’ given the departure of Angela Merkel, the outcome in all likelihood is going to be one of continuity, not revolution,” he told PenzaNews.

In his opinion, the main question today is the question of which government coalition will take office in autumn.

“The most likely outcome at this point seems to be a coalition of the conservative party with the greens with a possible inclusion of either the liberals or the center-left Social Democrats. But things are in flux as can be seen in the poor performance of the Green party candidate, which has significantly brought down support for the Greens in the last couple of weeks,” Michael Broening said.

According to him, Die Linke and the Alternative for Germany have so far failed to gain much popular traction and most observers agree that they are unlikely to be part of any new government.

“With regards to the AfD this is not a question of likelihood but of certainty. Germany’s major parties by comparison share many fundamental convictions on core questions of current politics, vis-à-vis European integration, climate change, migration and digitalization. In theory this allows for several potential coalitions but it also prevents radical change from taking over once Angela Merkel has left the stage,” he explained.

In turn, Heribert Adam, Professor Emeritus of political sociology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, shared the opinion about the continuation of the previous course of Germany after Angela Merkel’s departure.

“CDU/CSU quarreled about her successor, but that was more a debate about style and personalities of three party candidates than alternative programs,” he stressed.

“The most recent forecasts by two renowned institutions agree that the CDU would just fall short of 30% of votes, followed by 20% for the Green Party, 15% for the centre-left social democrats (SPD), and 11% for the liberal business-oriented FDP. The two extremist parties, the right-wing, anti-immigrant AfD and the utopian orthodox “Left” are expected to receive 10% and 7% respectively. None of the other parties will invite them into an inevitable coalition government,” Heribert Adam added.

From his point of view, regardless of the outcome of the election, there are six potential coalition governments possible between the center parties.

“The results of the parties tradeoffs is any bodies guess. They will differ only in nuances and priorities, but not on fundamental issues,” the expert said.

Evgeniya Voyko, Associate Professor of the department of political science at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, also pointed to the likely party continuity and continuation of the current German policy.

“Angela Merkel’s successor, Armin Laschet, has not announced any course or ideas fundamentally different from those promoted by the current chancellor. Thus, radical changes in the country and in its foreign policy should not be expected,” the expert explained.

In her opinion, in Germany’s domestic policy there is a number of issues that need to be addressed.

“First of all, this is overcoming the consequences of the pandemic. Germany is one of those first-tier European countries that held a lockdown for quite a long time, which caused strong criticism from the population. Therefore, one of the tasks of those forces that will be in power will be to overcome the social, economic and political consequences of the pandemic. In addition, the agenda will include the problem of migration, the economy in general, and a relatively new issue of cyber threats,” Evgeniya Voyko said.

Speaking about foreign policy, she recalled that Armin Laschet is considered a moderate critic of Russia.

“According to him, the pressure of the Europeans on the Russian Federation has reached its limits and the next action can only be the rupture of diplomatic relations – a step that his party does not want to take. In addition, he does not share the harsh criticism of Moscow, which can be heard, for example, from the Greens,” the expert noted, suggesting that it would be difficult for the CDU/CSU bloc to enter into a coalition with other political forces.

Meanwhile, Patrick Sensburg, German MP from the CDU/CSU fraction, member of the Committee for the Scrutiny of Elections, Immunity and the Rules of Procedure, stressed that although there are always forecasts, it is difficult to say how the results of the election will be exactly.

“My expectancy is that the CDU/CSU of Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel will be around 35% with Armin Laschet and there will be a chance of a coalition between CDU/CSU and the Liberals or the Greens and Armin Laschet will be the next chancellor,” the German MP said.

“Laschet is already a successful Prime Ministers in North Rhine-Westphalia. In my opinion Armin Laschet has done good work in the recent years and I am sure that he will also do a good job as the next chancellor,” Patrick Sensburg added.

According to him, Angela Merkel’s departure from the post of head of the German government, which she has held since 2005, will certainly lead to inevitable changes.

“Every new chancellor brings his whole personality into this job. But there will also be lots of continuity. Armin Laschet has worked many years very good together with Angela Merkel. As Prime Minister in North Rhine-Westphalia he is already responsible for the politics of Germany. He is well known and his decision making process and his agenda is also transparent to the people,” the politician noted.

Meanwhile, Bill Davies, Associate Professor and Chair at the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology, School of Public Affairs, American University, shared the opinion that Angela Merkel will go down in history as one of the eminent Chancellors of post-war Germany, alongside her conservative predecessors Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl.

At the same time, from his point of view, as of today, there is no really strong candidate for the post of chancellor in the country.

“Armin Laschet, looks a likely winner today not because he is running away with the election, but because of the weakness of the other candidates. The Greens’ candidate, Annalena Baerbock, is bogged down currently in a scandal and it is not yet clear how she will emerge from that […]. The SPD’s campaign is barely making any waves at all, and the smaller parties – FDP, AfD, Linke – will just eat into the votes of the larger parties without posing a direct threat to them at all,” Bill Davies said.

He suggested that Armin Laschet would win the elections, but doubted that he would become the same dominant figure in the Germany’s politics as Angela Merkel.

“If Laschet wins and the CDU/CSU remains in power, we can expect more of the same from Germany. A strong focus on European integration, a continuation of Merkels’ social and migration policies, and – depending on the success of the Green campaign – a further strengthening of Germany’s credentials in leading the fight against climate change and other environmental issues,” the expert concluded.

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