German Chancellor race enters fierce stage

The candidates running for the position of Chancellor of Germany have just finished their last face-to-face debate. With just one week to go before the general election, the parties are racing against time to win more support from voters in the final sprint.

From the left: Candidates Olaf Scholz, Annalena Baerbock, and Armin Laschet. (Photo: DW)
From the left: Candidates Olaf Scholz, Annalena Baerbock, and Armin Laschet. (Photo: DW)

On September 26, Germany will hold parliamentary elections, choosing a successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has had four consecutive terms of leading the country.

The three candidates in the race for the German Chancellor are Armin Laschet of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats (SPD) and Annalena Baerbock of the Green Party.

As the election day approaches, the content of the debate between the three candidates became narrower in scope, revolving only around issues close to the lives of the German people, instead of distant foreign policies such as Afghanistan, the situation of the European Union (EU), etc.

At the final face-to-face debate, the main topics discussed included minimum wages, the climate crisis, and digitalisation. The debate “heated up” as candidates offered different views on minimum wages and policies to achieve social justice.

The two candidates from the SPD and the Green party called for a minimum wage of EUR12 an hour. Meanwhile, the CDU/CSU candidate vehemently opposed a minimum wage of EUR12, arguing that it was up to the unions to negotiate wages. Also, according to this candidate, it would not be appropriate to ask different occupations to impose a uniform salary.

The German parliamentary elections have become fierce and unpredictable. For weeks, the difference in support for the candidates of the parties was not large. However, after the final debate ended, the advantage was in favour of SPD candidate Olaf Scholz.

About 42% of respondents thought Olaf Scholz holds a convincing argument, while the ratings for Armin Laschet and Annalena Baerbock were 27% and 25%, respectively. According to experts, no party currently has the ability to win overwhelmingly in the election in order to form a government on its own.

The upcoming election is an important political event for the German people as they must choose a worthy face to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In the context that the European largest economy is facing a series of difficulties, especially due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Angela Merkel’s successor will have to shoulder the heavy responsibility of leading the country in overcoming the pandemic.