Germany

Articles about voting issues in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Germany: Party members in Europe may not actually vote for their candidates. Here’s what’s going on. | The Washington Post

In Germany’s federal election last month, the Liberals (FDP) more than doubled their vote share to 10.7 percent. Post-election analysis has focused primarily on the losses of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the rise of the anti-immigration, new national conservative party, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). There’s another story here — the CDU actually lost more voters to the Liberals than the AfD, and the FDP was also a clear winner in this election. What does this tell us about shifting party loyalties, and what happens now? Our research gives some clues. The Social Democratic Party (SPD), which had its worst electoral result in postwar German history, quickly announced that it would not be part of another Grand Coalition with CDU. SPD instead will look to regroup as the leader of the opposition in the next legislative term. Read More

Germany: Election result faces legal challenge | Deutsche Welle

The success of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in last week’s German election has motivated two lawyers to renew their legal challenge against a peculiarity in Germany’s political landscape – the fact that Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU)does not field candidates in Bavaria to make room for their more right-wing regional sister party,the Christian Social Union (CSU). Nuremberg-based Rainer and Christine Roth are convinced that German citizens living in Bavaria have their constitutional right to a free vote violated by being blocked from voting for the CDU. Equally, people in other states can’t vote for the CSU, even though the two parties have separate election manifestos and enter coalition negotiations hoping to gain different political demands. In a statement released on Monday, the lawyers blamed the AfD’s success in the German election on this “sister-party” agreement between the CDU and the CSU, which goes back to the birth of the two parties before post-war Germany’s first election in 1949. “If it weren’t for this common parliamentary grouping between the CDU and the CSU, a CDU voter wouldn’t have to adopt the cuckoo child of the CSU, and vice versa,” they said. Read More

Germany: Far right’s Frauke Petry plans new political party in Germany | Politico

Frauke Petry said she plans to form a new political group in the German parliament after leaving the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). Petry, the party’s former leader who quit following the group’s stunning election results last week, told newspaper Welt am Sonntag in an interview Sunday that she wants to form a new party in the Bundestag, but would not reveal what it would be called. She also said that she and her colleagues would “soon form a group and perhaps a faction” with the goal of running in the 2019 Saxon regional parliament election. Still, Petry said she does not hope to see members leaving the AfD en masse along with her. Read More

Germany: Is Germany’s election result ‘the revenge of the East’? | The Guardian

Two days after a historic vote saw an overtly nationalist party enter the German parliament for the first time in more than five decades, a group of over-60s vent their grievances over lunchtime beers and cigarettes in the smoky back room of a dry petrol station on the border between the German state of Saxony and the Czech Republic. The German government is throwing cash at refugees “while native pensioners can’t afford to buy a new pair of glasses”, they complain. Putin is Europe’s “only guarantor of peace”, they argue, and Germany is still “under occupation” by America. A retired lorry driver with a handlebar moustache cites a joke he read in the tabloid Bild, which says that in the wake of Sunday’s federal elections, Angela Merkel should consider handing Saxony to the Czechs in exchange for some of their toxic waste. “Let’s have it,” he shouts. “We’ll become Sudeten Germans again.” Read More

Germany: Looks like a Russian-language botnet tried to boost voter fraud claims in Germany | Mashable

A Russian-language network of Twitter bots tried to boost claims of voter fraud going into Germany’s national elections on Sept. 24. Those elections seem to have largely avoided the alleged Russian interference that had recently taken place in both the United States and France, but Russian-language bots still seized on a claim made by what appears to be a fake account, according to The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. On Sept. 22, an account sent a tweet in German (translated below) that made it seem as though someone going by the name of “Sahrer” was going to help run the election, and would invalidate votes in favor of Alternative for Germany, a far-right party whose leaders have developed friendships in Moscow. The above account photo, as pointed out by the Digital Forensic Research Lab, is actually a Pakistani actress with some digitally-altered red hair, and the account didn’t post much until it was close to election time in Germany.  Read More

Germany: How Russian Voters Fueled the Rise of Germany’s Far-Right | Time

While fighting for a seat in the German parliament over the last few months, Sergej Tschernow, a candidate for the right-wing Alternative for Germany, or AfD, knew that he could only rely on a few media outlets to give his party the coverage it craves: the Russian ones. “They show our points of view in full,” he told TIME on Election Day, Sunday Sept. 24, when the AfD became the first far-right movement to enter into the German legislature since the end of World War II, winning a remarkable 13% of the vote and going from zero to more than 90 seats in a chamber of 631 lawmakers. The party’s rise has been caused by a range of factors, not least the widespread frustrations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose political party, the Christian Democratic Union, had one of the worst showings in its history on Sunday. It won only 33% of the vote – most likely enough to secure Merkel a fourth term in office, but hardly the commanding lead the CDU anticipated. Read More

Germany: Merkel Re-Elected as Right Wing Enters Parliament | Der Spiegel

For the past several months, it was clear that the German election wasn’t going to be much of a cliffhanger. And that expectation was met in spades on Sunday as the first projections emerged soon after the polls closed at 6 p.m., with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives easily outpacing the center-left Social Democrats as the country’s strongest party. The result will send Merkel to her fourth term in the Chancellery. Nevertheless, Sunday’s vote marks a significant shift in German politics, with initial projections showing the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party winning over 13 percent of the vote, thus becoming the first overtly right-wing party to win seats in the country’s federal parliament in over half a century. The result slightly outpaces the most recent public polling data — and is a far cry from the 7 percent the AfD had been polling at as recently as mid-summer — and it means the party will send close to 90 deputies to the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament. Read More

Germany: Election Mystery: Where’s Russia? | The New York Times

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s summons to Germany’s top cabinet ministers and senior military and intelligence officials for a meeting of the Federal Security Council signaled trouble. Such gatherings are rare, typically occurring only when the country faces a grave threat like a terrorist attack. There was just one item on the agenda that day last spring: how to protect Germany’s upcoming parliamentary elections from Russian cyber attacks. At the time, it seemed almost inevitable that Germany would suffer the same fate as France and the United States, where, officials say, the Kremlin attempted to alter the results of presidential elections with “fake news” and spear phishing attacks. But on the eve of Sunday’s elections, the Russians have done something few expected: they have largely disappeared. The trolls who spread distorted and falsified information before earlier elections have failed to make much of a splash here. The websites of the campaigns and major news media outlets are operating like normal. Read More

Germany: Germany on guard against election hacks, fake news | phys.org

As the clock ticks down to elections Sunday, Germany’s cyber defense nervously hopes it’ll be third time lucky after Russia was accused of meddling in the US and French votes. But even if Berlin avoids a last-minute bombshell of leaks or online sabotage, it sees Moscow’s hand in fanning fears of Muslim migrants that are driving the rise of the hard-right.
Forecasters say Chancellor Angela Merkel is almost certain to win. But she will also face, for the first time in German post-war history, a right-wing populist and anti-immigration party will have its own group on the opposition benches. The Alternative for Germany (AfD)—which calls Merkel a “traitor” for her 2015 welcome to refugees—has been promoted especially in internet echo chambers by far-right trolls and ultra-nationalists. Read More

Germany: Could hackers derail one of the most important elections in Europe? | The Daily Dot

There’s one shadowy figure that will likely linger in the minds of Germans on Sunday as they head to the voting booths to elect the country’s government: the hacker. Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party are expected to retain their position in government with a coalition of other parties. It’s the third high-profile election on mainland Europe in 2017, following the Netherlands and France. Both staved off far-right contenders to bring some stability to the European Union, which is contending with Brexit negotiations and relations with U.S. President Donald Trump. After last November’s U.S. presidential election and talk of Russian interference, German officials have repeatedly issued warnings about maintaining the election’s security. As election day approaches, the specter of hacking threats still looms. Read More