Merkel departure: Germany’s Green Party sees popularity boost ahead of upcoming election

Angela Merkel’s speech interrupted at Bundestag

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The Green Party is now Germany’s second most popular party after Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union alliance. Four surveys carried out in mid-April suggested Green Party supporters represent 20 to 22 percent of the total.

The party’s exponential growth may be perceived as a shift away from traditional parties in the upcoming national election this September.

Meanwhile, Ms Merkel’s CDU/CSU alliance had a backing of the 28-31 percent in the same study.

While the parties are set to officially confirm their choice for chancellor, the Green Party announced on Monday that Annaelena Baerbock will be its candidate.

Jürgen Trittin, former leader of Germany’s Green Party, told CNBC that Ms Baerbock’s run was a “historic decision”.

He said: “Now, for the first time, this [election] race takes place between the Green Party on one side and the conservatives on the right side.”

Last month, Ms Merkel’s CDU party suffered a rapid slump in support while the Greens positioned themselves only two points behind.

Markus Soeder, Bavarian premier and CSU leader, told Bild am Sonntag newspaper there had been “a change of mood in the country.”

He added: “The Union must show that it still has strength and ideas and is not exhausted and worn out. It needs new beginnings now.”

Ms Merkel was forced to abandon plans for an extended Easter holiday created in a bid to avoid a third wave of coronavirus.

Her top aide said that Germany defended the position saying measures had to be taken to avoid the risk posed by the virus.

The chief of staff Helge Braun told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper: “We are in the most dangerous phase of the pandemic.

“The next few weeks will determine whether we can foreseeably get the pandemic under control.”

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