Germany’s political landscape is crumbling as Merkel’s sister party, the CSU, has only received 37.3% of the votes in Bavaria, preliminary results show. Meanwhile, the right-wing AfD has entered parliament for the first time.
Voters in Bavaria headed to the polls to decide on the composition of the 180-member parliament on Sunday. The Christian Social Union (CSU) – sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) – gained 37.3 percent in Germany’s largest and second most populous state, according to an exit poll for broadcaster ARD.
It represents the worst election result since 1950, and a loss of its absolute majority for only the second time since 1962. It means the CSU will now have to form a coalition.
CSU General Secretary Markus Blume has called it a "bitter day for the CSU," while declining to comment on possible coalitions.
Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder of the CSU also said it is "not an easy day." However, he called his party "the strongest party" and added that the most important task is to keep the country stable and governable.
The election can be seen as a blow to Merkel, since her party is not present in Bavaria at all, with the CSU effectively being the Chancellor’s ‘hand’ there. CSU, in turn, is not present in any other federal state.
Die Linke member Bijan Tavassoli told RT that the result sends a clear message of what the people want - and it isn't Angela Merkel.