As anticipated, Angela Merkel’s party came in first in the German national election on Sunday, assuring her of a fourth term as Chancellor of Germany; some are calling her as the eternal chancellor of a wealthy aging nation.
The pastor’s daughter who has been raised behind the Iron Curtain has just made it to be elected as the Chancellor of the biggest economy of Europe – Germany, for the fourth time. Merkel has learned to lead a country with her pragmatic, modest and reassuringly bland style. Even in turbulent times because of Trump, Brexit and a number of global crisis, Merkel has managed to maintain Germany’s growth and employment rates. With the victory of the conservative bloc, while the anti-migrant, nationalist Alternative for Germany party managed a triumphant entry into parliament.
Because of all these active works from Merkel, the Germans have thanked her by keeping her in power ever since she became their youngest and first female chancellor in 2005, a contemporary of long-gone leaders George W. Bush, Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac. Now the outcome puts Merkel on course for a fourth term as chancellor – but means that she likely faces the tricky task of forming a new coalition government with two new partners. The politically greater challenge before Ms. Merkel is the loss of her coalition partner, the Social Democrats, whose years in coalition with Ms. Merkel’s conservative C.D.U. eroded their socialist identity.
In this hollow triumph, Merkel has little choice but to seek a coalition with the Greens and the pro-business Free Democratic Party. Joining with two such diverse parties will take some complex horse trading, and the resulting team could prove unstable. Hopefully, that goal – and negotiations with potential coalition partners – will not entail erosion of the values the chancellor has defended in the past.