Merkel’s CDU Suffers Heavy Losses in Berlin Polls

Berlin, – Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) slumped to their worst-ever result in the city-state of Berlin, increasing pressure on the chancellor ahead of next year’s national elections after a surge in support for a right-wing party.

The CDU dropped to 17.6% from 23.3% in the last election in 2011 after tensions unleashed by Germany’s refugee crisis resulted in the anti-foreigner Alternative for Germany (AfD) scoring 14.2% in Sunday’s vote, with the vote count completed, the (dpa) reported.

Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller and his left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD), who have ruled Germany’s most-populous city for 15 years, claimed victory with 21.6%.

The AfD’s success means the SPD-CDU coalition that has ruled Berlin for the last five years no longer has a parliamentary majority.

The loss in support for the SPD-CDU could result in Mueller being forced to form a new three-party left-wing ruling coalition with the environmentalist Greens, who finished at 15.2%, and the hard-left Die Linke, who ranked third at 15.6%.

Turnout was strong at 66.9%, up from 60.2% five years ago.

Source: Qatar News Agency