Merkel Vies 3rd Term in Office in Germany Elections

World | September 22, 2013, Sunday // 10:32
Merkel Vies 3rd Term in Office in Germany Gen Elections: Merkel Vies 3rd Term in Office in Germany Elections German Chancellor Angela Merkel is running for a third term to lead the most powerful economy in Europe. Photo EPA/BGNES

Germans are going to the polls Sunday to vote in key general elections in which current Chancellor Angela Merkel is running for a third term to lead the most powerful economy on the Old Continent.

Pollsters say results show that Merkel's Christian Democrats, (CDU/CSU) may take the largest number of seats in the German Parliament - the Bundestag, The BBC reports.

Merkel's coalition partners, however - the Free Democrats, (FDP) may not manage to reach the 5% threshold required to win Bundestag seats.

This could lead to a coalition with the Christian Democrats' main rival, the Social Democrats, (SDP), of Peer Steinbrueck. There is also a possible coalition with the Green parties.

Under another scenario, a new party largely formed from disaffected CDU members could get enough votes to be regarded as a different coalition partner. Alternative for Deutschland (AfD), as it is known, is avowedly anti-euro and could prove a difficult one, analysts say.

Polls opened at 8:00 am local time and will close at 4:00 pm.

Elections in Germany are often followed by a period of several weeks of coalition talks before the final shape of the government emerges, The BBC reminds.

According to an average of opinion polls, the CDU/CSU will get 38.6% of the vote to 25.8% for the SPD and 6.4% for the FDP.

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Tags: Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel, elections, polls, Bundestag, Christian Democrats, CDU/CSU, Free Democrats, FDP, Social Democrats, SDP, Peer Steinbrueck, Green parties, Alternative for Deutschland, AfD
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