Polls Are Open In Germany As Voters Look Ahead To Who Should Lead After Angela Merkel

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People queue in front of a polling station in the Moabit district of Berlin, Germany. German voters are choosing a new parliament in an election that will determine who succeeds Chancellor Angela Merkel after her 16 years at the helm of Europe’s biggest economy.

Michael Probst/AP

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Michael Probst/AP

Germans Will Choose A New Government As Angela Merkel Steps Down As Chancellor

Of the higher-polling parties, the leading contenders to succeed Merkel are the Social Democrats’ Olaf Scholz, the Christian Democrats’ Armin Laschet and Annalena Baerbock of the Greens.

Economic issues and concerns over how to handle climate change are some of the top concerns among voters in this election. It’s a tight race so far, which has some voters still torn over how to vote — even on election day.

«I’m very torn. I like Scholz because of his initiative on taxes for the international minimum tax level, but I’m not so sure how strong they’ll be on climate,» first-time-voter Vessela Hristova told NPR.

Scholz currently serves as the German finance minister and vice chancellor.

Germans Can’t Agree On Who Should Lead After Angela Merkel

Even with the uncertainty surrounding this year’s election, some voters in Berlin — a more liberal leaning city compared to Merkel’s conservative leaning politics — say they will not miss Merkel in office.

«Maybe when we see what will be the result of this election, maybe we will miss her! I don’t know. She’s not my chancellor,» Katja Lucke told NPR.

Germans will gain a better sense for who is in the lead when polls close, but it will take longer to get more accurate results of the election. In the German election system, parties may have to form coalitions to determine a majority. And in this year’s election, it could result in three parties forming a coalition, a rarity in German politics.

Rob Scmitz contributed reporting from Berlin.

  • German election
  • Angela Merkel
  • Chancellor Angela Merkel
  • Germany

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