For the first time in 16 years, Germany will have a chancellor that is not Merkel.
By: Almunthir Alghamdi
This is a pivotal election in Germany’s modern history because, for the first time in 16 years, former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s name is not on the ballot. That means there is a whole generation of people that have only known Merkel as their Chancellor. The choice this time would be extremely hard and important for the future of the country’s political landscape.
Whoever comes after Merkel is going to be compared heavily to her and her policies and achievements. In the economic recession of 2008, Merkel demanded Greece cut spending in exchange for loans from the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to prevent the country from going into bankruptcy.
Merkel’s unforgettable actions of kindness towards the refugees coming from the Middle East and North Africa elevated her stance in the world as a humanitarian. Even though there was some backlash from the German public, she stuck to her principles. In 2010, Merkel also ended the mandatory military conscriptions and created new childcare provisions to help working families.
It comes as no surprise that Merkel’s legacy will be hard to follow by the country’s next Chancellor. So let’s take a look at the candidates: the frontrunner as of this moment is Olaf Scholz representing the Social Democratic Party of Germany with 206 seats. Coming right behind him, Armin Laschet, representing Angela Merkel’s right-wing Union Party with 196 seats. And in a distant third is the Green Party’s Annalena Baerbock with 118 seats.
Since no party won a clear majority to form the government, both front runners are in negotiations with the leader of the Green Party to form a coalition government.