Germany decides who will take charge after Merkel

Germany decides who will take charge after Merkel
Angela Merkel has appeared at rallies alongside Armin Laschet in the last week of the campaign. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The fight to succeed long-serving and popular Chancellor Angela Merkel could barely be tighter as German voters go to the polls in parliamentary elections.

In a final showdown for votes, the outgoing Chancellor Merkel joined conservative candidate Armin Laschet at a rally on Saturday in his hometown of Aachen.

An unlikely victory could be within their grasp, according to final opinion polls.

At stake is the leadership of Europe’s biggest economy, and more than 60 million Germans over 18 are eligible to vote.

A clear indication will come when voting comes to an end at 16:00 GMT (18:00 local time) on Sunday.

This unpredictable election looked over until Angela Merkel entered the fray, her career at the top of German politics now weeks from coming to an end.

In the 48 hours before the vote, she warned voters repeatedly: “It really matters who’s in power.” Merkel, who has been the German Chancellor for the last 16 years, said that Germany needed stability and its youth needed a future – and Armin Laschet was the man to provide it.

There are plenty of uncertainties about the German election. More than a third of voters were still unsure who to vote for, the opinion polls show, although a record number have already posted their votes in.

The conservative CDU and its Bavarian sister party led initially, opinion polls showed, and at one point the Greens went in front, but then came a surge for the Social Democrats under Olaf Scholz.

You may read: Germany: Merkel backs ‘bridge-builder’ Laschet as successor