Merkel tries to bolster CDU candidate ahead of German election
German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised her government’s achievements and criticized the potential of a left-wing administration in a speech to lawmakers ahead of the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections.
Merkel said her party’s candidate for chancellor Armin Laschet would lead a government that stands for “stability” and “moderation”, adding that this would be “exactly what Germany needs”.
She spoke of the achievements of her last term, saying that Germany had made “significant progress” in digitization and infrastructure while admitting that there are “small difficulties in many places”.
The outgoing chancellor was trying to strengthen her future successor Laschet, governor of Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, as the number of polls fell.
Recent polls have shown that Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) lags behind the center-left Social Democrats (SPD).
Green candidate Annalena Baerbock, whose party is third in the polls, told parliament the elections would be the government’s last chance to change climate change.
Merkel warned that a government headed by her deputy Olaf Scholz, who heads the SPD, would include the opposition “Left Party” which is against NATO and German missions abroad.
She also berated Scholz for a comment in which he described people who were vaccinated against COVID-19 early, including himself, as “guinea pigs.” Scholz later added that the vaccination had clearly worked and that those who hesitated should also receive the vaccine.
Merkel’s unusually partisan speech came in what was likely the last Bundestag session before the September 26 election.
“We all agree that a lot more people have yet to be convinced to get vaccinated, but if we are to convince people it has to be done with arguments and not, at the very least, pictures of ‘ ‘biased guinea pigs,’ Merkel said. noted.
Scholz replied that people can be convinced with humor.
“If some people don’t want to laugh and get upset about it, maybe it has something to do with the fact that they don’t have much to laugh about considering their poll scores,” did he declare.
He also attacked the CDU’s agenda, saying that another center-right-led government “would cost Germany prosperity and jobs.”