The elections in the federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg open this Sunday the electoral super year in Germany, which will culminate on September 26 with the legislative elections to the Bundestag, the federal Parliament, after half a dozen regional calls to the polls. Mal will start the first call at the polls, however, for the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Its new president and prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, is known to be condemned to reap defeats in both East German regions due to the undoubted popularity of their current rulers.
Laschet and the conservatives are concerned about the scope at the polls of the so-called “mask scandal”, a case of corruption and undue enrichment in the Bundestag that has ended the careers of two Christian Democratic deputies and a Bavarian Social Christian. After the announcement of the withdrawal of the chancellor after four legislatures in power, the Union parties (CDU / CSU) lose their main workhorse and the ballast of a scandal that affects their credibility will complicate their campaigns.
Meanwhile, no one doubts that veteran environmentalist Winfried Kretschmann will repeat his victory for the third time in Baden-Württemberg, the richest federal state and the cradle of the powerful automobile industry. A Trotskyist militant in his youth, but very Catholic and pragmatic, Kretschmann, 72, became the first regional ruler of Los Verdes in the country’s history in 2011, ending almost 60 years of CDU rule in the region. He has managed to earn the trust of his fellow citizens and the respect of the big automakers.
After a first legislature with the Social Democrats (SPD), Kretschmann has governed the last five years with the Christian Democrats. The alliance of ecologists and conservatives that governs in Stuttgart is seen with very good eyes by both parties, whose leaders openly flirt in Berlin knowing that this possible coalition is the best valued by the citizens for the general elections.
The polls indicate that the Greens will obtain in Baden-Württemberg up to 35% of the votes and the CDU will be in second place with ten points less. SPD, liberals and ultranationalists of Alternative for Germany (AfD) are around 11%. With this possible result, Kretschmann will be able to choose between repeating alliance with the conservatives or forming a tripartite with social democrats and liberals.
A lost fiefdom
Second will also be the CDU in Rhineland-Palatinate, a former conservative fiefdom, the birthplace of the late former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, but which has been dominated since 1990 by the SPD. This training will achieve up to 33%, according to surveys, while the CDU will not exceed 29%. The polls attribute up to 12% of the vote to the Greens, 10% to the AfD and 7% to the Liberals.
Social Democrat Marie-Luise ‘Malu’ Dreyer, 60, governs in coalition with Greens and Liberals and no one doubts that she will continue to do so. With the manufacture of respirators, tests and vaccines,
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