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.
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

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid