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German Chancellor Angela Merkel re-elected by Christian Democratic Union to lead it into 2017 polls

Angela Merkel on Tuesday was elected by CDU to lead the party into next year`s elections.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel re-elected by Christian Democratic Union to lead it into 2017 polls

North Rhine-Westphalia: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday was elected by Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to lead the party into next year`s elections.

But with one of the poorest results in the history of such polls. Delegates of the centre-right CDU voted 89.5 percent for her to remain at the helm, in the second worst score achieved by Merkel. 

The endorsement fell short of the 96.7 percent Merkel won when she was last re-elected two years ago.

Her decision last year to open Germany`s doors to some 1 million migrants sapped some grassroots support and has dented the CDU`s poll ratings, as per Reuters.

Merkel`s lowest winning score in election as chairwoman was 88.4 percent in 2004.

The vote came after a speech in which she struck a decidedly conservative note, telling members that she wants to stem the influx of migrants and ban face-covering veils where possible, as per AP.

Germany saw about 890,000 asylum-seekers arrive last year. Many came after Merkel decided in September 2015 to let in migrants who were stuck in Hungary.

The numbers have since declined sharply, but Merkel's "we will cope" approach to the migrant crisis has provoked discord within the CDU, which has seen a string of poor state election results this year.

"A situation like the one in the late summer of 2015 cannot, should not and must not be repeated," Merkel told delegates.

While Merkel insists that Germany will continue to take in people who genuinely need of protection, her government has moved to toughen asylum rules and declare several countries "safe", meaning people from there can't expect to get refuge.

Merkel was also a driving force behind an agreement between the European Union and Turkey in March to stem the flow of migrants.

Polls show a solid lead for the conservatives, although their support is still short of the 41.5 percent they won in Germany's 2013 election.

They face new competition from the upstart nationalist Alternative for Germany party, which has thrived by attacking Merkel's migrant policies.

(With Agency inputs)

From Zee News

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