Merkel's Party Trails as Germany's Election Campaign Enters Final Days

foreignpolicy.com
6 min read
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Germany could be led by a "Jamaica" or "traffic light" coalition as the country prepares to vote on Sunday.
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Here is today's Foreign Policy brief: Germany's election campaign enters its final days, U.S. President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron attempt to mend ties, and Taiwan applies to join Pacific trade pact.

Here is today's Foreign Policy brief: Germany's election campaign enters its final days, U.S. President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron attempt to mend ties, and Taiwan applies to join Pacific trade pact.

If you would like to receive Morning Brief in your inbox every weekday, please sign up here.

Germany's Election Enters Final Days

As Angela Merkel prepares to leave the stage after 16 years as German chancellor, she can depart safe in the knowledge that she never lost an election as leader of the Christian Democratic Union. With Germans voting in federal elections this Sunday, her party successor Armin Laschet is unlikely to be as lucky as Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats threaten to disrupt the CDU line of succession.

As campaigning enters its final days, the Social Democrats have maintained their lead, polling at about 25 percent to the Christian Democrats' 22 percent.

Merkel's mantle. Right down to copying Merkel's trademark "rhombus" hand gesture, Scholz has portrayed himself on the campaign trail as a safe pair of hands, a position that seems to have resonated with the German public; 29 percent of Germans would prefer to see him as chancellor, according to the latest poll.

"[In Germany] people still feel relatively comfortable about their own personal economic situation and they are cautious about fundamental change, and that's what Scholz has done the best at embodying, because he does represent continuity," said Jeff Rathke, a former senior U.S. diplomat who now serves as the president of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at the Johns Hopkins University.

"He's been a minister for the last eight years. He's…
Colm Quinn
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