German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives look set to suffer a second electoral blow in two weeks in a Berlin city vote, as a growing number of voters are expected to express their unease with her refugee-friendly policy. Ashraf Fahim reports.
Merkel faces setback in Berlin vote due to migrant fears
Germany’s ruling party looks to be headed for another setback as voting gets underway in local elections in the capital, Berlin.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats, or CDU, already took a beating in a state election two weeks ago.
… fallout from a popular backlash against Merkel over refugee friendly policy.
Polls show the anti-immigrant AFD party is surging.
AFD frontrunner candidate Georg Pazderski
(SOUNDBITE) (German) AFD FRONT RUNNER GEORG PAZDERSKI, SAYING:
“I am in very good spirits. And I am expecting a good two-digit result today. I assume that we are going to get 12 to 15 percent.”
The AFD has played on voters’ fears about the cost of the roughly 1 million migrants who entered Germany last year.
But the center-left Social Democrats could benefit the most from Merkel’s woes, with one poll showing them leading the CDU by five points.
The elections losses have upped the pressure on Merkel to toughen up her immigration policy.
But so far she has stood her ground, refusing to put a cap on the overall number of migrants.