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Major Hit in Regional Elections

Angela Merkel is stepping down as Chancellor. In the process, she created a mess as her CDU Party Takes a Major Hit in Regional Elections.

Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) took a hit Sunday evening, with results showing that recent scandals and the mishandling of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout potentially damaged the party in two vital state elections.

The night brought the expected victory for Winfried Kretschmann, the Green state premier in Baden-Württemberg, who now faces a choice: Continuing his coalition with the CDU, or pursuing a fresh option: A potential "traffic light" coalition with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP). 

In Rhineland-Palatinate, the Social Democrats, led by the similarly popular State Premier Malu Dreyer, looked set to triumph, scoring a projected 36.1%, potentially opening the path to another traffic light coalition with the Greens and the Free Democrats (FDP). 

DW's chief political editor, Michaela Küfner, said the results in Rhineland Palatinate showed the increased "fragmentation" of German politics, while also reflecting the anger among some voters over what she called "the poor performance of the central government when it comes to securing enough vaccines."

[Merkel was hit by]  a corruption scandal that had caused three conservative parliamentarians to step down, and the mishandling of vaccine distribution, which has seen Germany only vaccinate 7.5% of its population to date, well behind many developed nations.

What Happened?

The following snips courtesy of Eurointelligence on March 4 fully explains the election debacle this past weekend.

Oops, Germany Forgot to Buy the Self-Tests

Angela Merkel has had a lot of fans in the German and international media. This is changing, at least in Germany itself. Long-standing readers will know that we have been criticising her for a tendency to paper over cracks - during the eurozone crisis for example. The kicking-the-can-down-the-road mindset has revealed itself to many more people during this pandemic. Merkel was personally behind the decision to shift vaccination procurement to the European Commission, without even considering whether the Commission had the capability to do this effectively. When that failed, the German government declared self-tests to be the royal road out of lockdown. That sounded like a good idea, even to us. As it turned out, the German government has not even bought them yet, because they are still haggling over the price. The lockdown persists because the government failed to order the tests. 

As FAZ put it this morning: Germany is trapped in small print. The lockdown will remain. The Merkel-friendly German media can't sugar-coat this any longer. 

"Traffic Light Coalition"?

German national elections are on Sunday, September 26. 

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If CDU is part of any coalition it will be as the junior member with the Greens. That would be a "Green-Black" coalition based on party colors.

Also ponder a "Traffic Light Coalition" (Green, Yellow, Red)  with the Greens (Green), SDP (Red), and FDP (Yellow).  

Regardless, at long last Merkel will be gone, leaving at the bottom and making a total mess of things ever since her "We Can Do This" speech which unleased a flood of immigration woes.

I wrote about "Peak Merkel" in regards to the immigration crisis way back on October 18, 2015. 

CDU was in a "Grand Coalition" with SPD and still is even though the coalition does not have close to the 50% needed to form one if new elections were held. 

Even though a majority of SPD party members were ready to pull the plug on the coalition, the party leaders weren't. 

Numerous times the coalition nearly collapsed, but SPD leaders did not want to give up on limos and other perks that coalition partners get.

So a coalition marriage made in hell went on and on and on. It will finally end on September 26 with Merkel leaving the party in its worst shape in decades.