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The elections to German Bundestag have resolved several important issues, but at the same time they brought a number of unexpected results, as well as a serious intrigue, which we all will follow in the coming months. Let us consider the main trends and results of the German vote.
Outcome # 1
Merkel became chancellor again
The main intrigue, which on the eve of the elections was called “intrigue” only by inertia, was resolved. CDU/CSU bloc headed by Angela Merkel received the greatest support among the citizens of Germany, leaving behind her main rivals - the Social Democratic Party led by Martin Schultz. Now Merkel has the right to form a coalition and lead the country for the fourth time, thereby repeating the record of staying in power, established by Helmut Kohl (16 years).
"We are the most successful political force, we have a mandate to form a government, and no one can form it against us," she said after the election.
Outcome # 2
Key parties in Germany are losing popularity
Despite the overall success of Merkel's bloc, many experts already call it a "Pyrrhic" victory. Compared with the previous elections, the CDU/CSU has lost about 8% of voter support (33% now vs. 41% at that time), which put political force in a difficult position (both in terms of overall reputation and further forming the coalition).
Also, the preliminary result of the main rival of the CDU/CSU - the Social Democrats led by the former head of the European Parliament Martin Schultz - cannot be particularly positive. The party, which for a long time went at the same level with Merkel’s force, in fact, has failed elections, having received the lowest result in its history - about 20.5% of voters' support.
"Today is a hard and bitter day for the German Social Democracy," Schultz commented on the election results.
Outcome # 3
The success of the far-right
Due to the fantastic result of the far-right "Alternative for Germany," many call this political force the true winners of the elections. For the first time since the time of Hitler, the far-right force has got to the German parliament.
This Eurosceptic party was created in 2013, and now it comes to the Bundestag, gaining about 13% of support. Moreover, in East Germany this party took the second place, ahead of the Social Democrats, and, for example, in Saxony it was in the first place (with a result of 27% of the vote).
This is a pro-Russian party, demanding to lift sanctions from the Russian Federation and recognize Crimea as Russia's territory. They support exit from the eurozone and bear tough fight against immigrants. The party will have more than 80 mandates in the future German parliament and new, much more ample opportunities to convey their position to the electorate.
As Deutsche Welle writes, representatives of this far-right political force have already announced their intention to convene a parliamentary commission in the new Bundestag to investigate Merkel’s migration policy.
Outcome # 4
Create of a new coalition will be difficult
After announcing the preliminary results of the election, Martin Schultz stated that the Social Democratic Party is going into opposition, that is, it does not plan to participate in the creation of a new coalition (Germany today has the so-called "broad" coalition consisting of the CDU/CSU and Social Democrats).
Although Merkel still expresses her hope for negotiations with the Social Democrats, she is unlikely to be able to change her current partners.
Thus, Merkel and her political power have only one option - the so-called "Jamaica" coalition, which would include CDU/CSU, liberals, and the "Green". The coalition is named “Jamaica” because of the colors of Jamaica’s national flag, which correspond to the party colors CDU/CSU (black), "Free Democrats" (yellow) and "Green" (green). The problem with this option is that it could be extremely unstable.
Nothing changes for Ukraine
The victory of Merkel and the general alignment of forces after the elections do not promise any major changes in the relations between Germany and Ukraine. Both the CDU/CSU and the Social Democrats are on Ukraine’s side in terms of Donbas conflict in "Crimean issue." The position of the liberals, whose leader has proposed to freeze the issue of Crimea for a while and resume cooperation with Russia, seems to be unclear. There are some supporters of even tightening the anti-Russian course among the "Green".
Thus, despite the considerable support of the far-right pro-Russian politicians, the coalition majority should still follow the established positions regarding Ukraine: support and diplomatic resolution of Donbas conflict, as well as preserving sanctions against the Russian Federation.