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CDU election setback threatens Merkel's prestige on the world stage

30 September 2017

He vowed to take his party, the junior partner in Merkel's outgoing "grand coalition" of Germany's traditionally dominant parties, into opposition.

MSCI´s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan handed back earlier modest gains and was last down 0.35 percent with losses across the regions weighing.

Her husband, Marcus Pretzell, the party leader in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia and a regional lawmaker there, told The Associated Press that he is also leaving AfD.

She says that AfD's rhetoric - referring to "floods" of refugees, immigrants "streaming" into the country and a "tsunami" of foreigners - creates "intense images in people's minds", Wehling says, "a notion of threat, of immediate danger to the nation". Secondly, the right-wing nationalists have now become part of German establishment. Merkel's steadying influence on the European Union from one crisis to the next marked her out as a leader who wouldn't give up on the waning appeal of multilateralism.

Merkel stressed that she "does not see any errors in her campaign" despite the significant decline of her party. Meanwhile, the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), a populist right-wing party founded in 2013, garnered 12.6 percent of the vote, making it the third-largest party in the Bundestag and the first extreme right-wing party to have seats in the Bundestag since the Deutsche Partei's exit in the 1960s.

The Reichstag building, seat of the German lower house of Parliament Bundestag, is pictured in Berlin on September 19, 2017, 5 days before Germans head to the polls.

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The attack may have been the work of a country like Russian Federation or a rogue government unit, The New York Times reported. The State Department also ordered all nonemergency US government employees and their family members to leave the country .

Weidel, married to a film producer and the mother of two children, claims her party is not homophobic, but AFD ran an "obituary" for German family values when the nation passed marriage equality in June. This is mostly because of the SPD's 20.5%, the party's worst ever result.

Whatever impact that decision may have, a debate is expected to continue on migration in Germany where more than a million refugees arrived since 2015 and social tensions remain despite an improving economy.

"The SPD was a major loser in this election and they don't want to work with [Merkel's Christian Democrats]".

It is doubtful New Zealand's Green Party would join National in government even if the votes allowed no other government to be formed.

Still, government coalitions and alliances between different parties are the rule in Germany.

The caucus leader of Merkel's Union bloc, Volker Kauder, said he "would have liked a better result" but voters had given the party the task of forming the next government.

CDU election setback threatens Merkel's prestige on the world stage