BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has held onto her legislative constituency in the far northeast of the country.
Merkel received 44 percent of the votes in the district where she was first elected in 1990 — more than twice the number of votes her closest rival from the nationalist Alternative for Germany took.
The result nevertheless reflects some of the disgruntlement expressed by voters toward Merkel in this election. It is down more than 12 percentage points from the election in 2013.
German internet users are flocking to Twitter to express their opposition to the surging nationalist party AfD.
The upstart Alternative for Germany is expected to win close to 100 seats in the German parliament after taking about 13 percent of the vote in Sunday’s federal election.
Using the hashtag #87Prozent — German for “87 percent” — Twitter users who didn’t vote for AfD are stating their hopes for the coming four years.
Corinna Leppin posted: “Less populism and hatred, more solidarity and politics that tackles problems.”
Another user, Jonathan Hirsch, wrote that he hopes “voters’ concerns will be treated in such a way that they’ll never vote for populists in protest again.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pledging to form a stable government for Germany and is making clear that she doesn’t plan to try running a minority government.
Merkel’s current coalition partners, the center-left Social Democrats, said after Sunday’s election that they won’t join the next government. Germany has no tradition of minority governments, so that would leave Merkel trying to thrash out an untried coalition with the pro-business Free Democrats and left-leaning Greens.
Asked on German public television whether a minority government of just her own conservative Union bloc is conceivable, Merkel replied: “I think that stable German governments are a value in itself, that our whole parliamentary system is different from those in countries that have a long tradition of minority governments.”
She added: “I don’t see it. I have the intention of achieving a stable government in Germany.”