Merkel’s party punished by voters in Hamburg state election
BERLIN: Voters handed German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives their worst-ever result in Hamburg on Sunday, punishing them for flirting with the far-right in an eastern state and descending into a messy leadership battle. Preliminary results also showed the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) just scraping into the Hamburg parliament, only four days after a racist gunman killed 11 people, including himself, in the western town of Hanau.
The Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens celebrated in Germany’s second-biggest city after taking first and second place, meaning they will probably keep ruling together in the northern port and city-state.
The conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) suffered after party leader and Merkel protegee Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said she would stand aside, blowing open the race to succeed the chancellor and throwing the party into turmoil.
The CDU slipped into third place, scoring just 11.2%. The AfD, which has capitalised on anger over Merkel’s open-door migrant policy, especially in the former Communist East, won 5.3%, just over the 5% threshold needed to get into the state parliament, according to the preliminary results. - Reuters