Germany: Merkel’s party fends off far-right challenge in state vote

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives handily batted away a challenge from the far right in a state election Sunday that was seen as the last big test for Germany’s political parties before a national vote in September. Projections by public broadcaster ARD put Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union at 36.2%, a gain of more than 6 percentage points compared to the last election five years ago in the sparsely populated state of 2.2 million inhabitants. The far-right Alternative for Germany, or AfD, was projected to get 22.5% of the vote, a slight drop compared to 2016. The party has moved steadily further to the right in recent years and its chapter in Saxony-Anhalt has come under increased scrutiny from Germany’s domestic intelligence service for its ties to extremist groups.” (06/06/21)