News / Europe

Merkel, Conservatives Triumph in German Vote

German Chancellor Angela Merkel poses as she casts her ballot during general elections at a polling station in Berlin, September 22, 2013. The person in the background is Merkel's husband, Joachim Sauer.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel poses as she casts her ballot during general elections at a polling station in Berlin, September 22, 2013. The person in the background is Merkel's husband, Joachim Sauer.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Partial results in Germany's elections show Chancellor Angela Merkel on her way to a third term in office with voters close to awarding her conservatives a historic absolute majority in parliament.

Projections by ARD and ZDF television put Merkel's Christian Democrats at more than 42 percent of the vote - stronger than the combined opposition parties that won enough support to enter parliament.

If that result is confirmed by the final count, it would allow the chancellor's conservative bloc - the Christian Democratic Union and Bavarian Christian Social Union - to govern Germany without a coalition partner.

Center-left challenger Peer Steinbrueck's Social Democrats trailed well behind with up to 26.5 percent.

The polls put Merkel's coalition partners, the pro-business Free Democrats, at 4.7 percent - below the minimum five percent threshold to keep their seats in parliament. The Alternative for Germany - a new party calling for an "orderly breakup" of the 17-member eurozone - held at 4.9 percent, also uncertain of winning seats.

If the current coalition fails to win a parliamentary majority, the likeliest outcome is a switch to a Merkel-led partnership with the Social Democrats. The two are traditional rivals, but governed Germany together in Ms. Merkel's first term after an inconclusive 2005 election.

"This is a super result," Merkel told cheering supporters. "We will do everything together in the next four years to make them successful years for Germany."

Nearly 62 million Germans are eligible to elect the lower house of parliament, which in turn chooses the chancellor.

Merkel's nearly certain third term as chancellor cements her place in history as one of the longest-serving and most influential European leaders in the postwar era.

The election is being closely watched across the continent. In southern Europe - and especially, Greece - Germany continues to be vilified as the country that has forced austerity on the European Union, and many single out Chancellor Merkel.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid