Merkel’s ally suffers defeat in Bavarian election

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Editor : Tevfik Sayraç

Christian Social Union loses majority in state parliament, far-right AfD manages to enter state parliament for first time

Merkel’s ally suffers defeat in Bavarian election

hancellor Angela Merkel's sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) suffered a heavy blow in regional elections in Bavaria on Sunday, according to projections by public broadcaster ARD.

The CSU, which has governed Bavaria almost continuously since 1946, managed to win only 35.6 percent, a sharp fall from the 47.7 percent the party scored in the last election in 2013.

It was the second-worst result for the Bavarian conservatives since the end of World War II, also showing that the CSU would lose its majority in the state parliament.

The Social Democratic Party (SPD) also suffered heavy losses on Sunday, drawing only 9.7 percent of the vote, less than half of its showing of 20.6 percent five years ago.

The environmentalist, pro-immigration Green Party scored a record 18.3 percent, up from 9.8 percent in the last election, making it the second-largest group in the state parliament. 

The moderate right Free Voters of Bavaria came in third with 11.6 percent. 

Projections showed the Islamophobic, far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) with 10.9 percent of the vote, thereby entering the Bavarian parliament for the first time. 

Coalition options 

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, also the CSU leader, voiced regret over the disappointing results, but also stressed that his party now has a clear task to form a stable government. 

“This is not a good result, there's nothing to quibble about,” he told reporters in Munich. 

“On the other hand, today, Bavarian voters gave us a clear task to form a new government for the free state of Bavaria. And we will undertake this responsibility,” he stressed. 

Early seat projections suggested that the CSU will hold 80 seats in the Bavarian state parliament, and the Green Party 39. 

The Free Voters of Bavaria was set to take 25 seats, the AfD 24, the SPD 21, and the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) 11. 

Public broadcaster ARD’s projections showed that the CSU would have two major coalition government options, either the Green Party or the Free Voters of Bavaria, to secure its coalition a majority in parliament. 

Sunday night Seehofer was silent on possible coalition options, but said the party’s executive committee would meet in the coming days to discuss the election results, and government options.

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