Berlin is at the ballot box in Germany’s second regional elections as many weeks in the polls to the run up of the vote suggest Chancellor Angela Merkel would be dealt with another blow.
Her so-called open door refugee policy has hit her and her Christian Democrat (CDU) party hard and at the same time boosted support for the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
After last November’s terrorist attack in Paris, New York’s Eve’s sexual assaults in Cologne and a string of gun, bomb, axe and machete attacks in Bavaria in July, Germany’s conservative party may fall back on its promises to erase people’s fears on security.
It was important (for me to vote), because we live in turbulent times. And it is important that the democratic forces make their voices heard.
“It was important (for me to vote), because we live in turbulent times. And it is important that the democratic forces make their voices heard.” Rudolf Friedel, a voter said.
“It’s important to let my voice be counted, so that (the result) doesn’t, wont be due to some bad coincidence, fall prey to the AfD (‘Alternative for Germany’ right-wing party), or others I don’t agree with.” Another voter Harf Zimmermann added.
A slump in support for the CDU could deepen a growing rift with its coalition partners; the centre left Social Democrats or SPD.
The SPD Mayor of Berlin is expected to retain his position.
He said if he wins, he wants to ditch the existing coalition for a more left-leaning one, which is likely to include the Greens and Die Linke, or the Left.
Although there are two days to go for the people to cast their votes, recent polls indicate that on issues around privacy and data protection, Berlin will preserve its unique status.