- Title: CDU candidate Kretschmer votes as polls open in Saxony and Brandenburg election
- Date: 1st September 2019
- Summary: DRESDEN, GERMANY (SEPTEMBER 01, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** BALLOT PAPER FALLING INTO BALLOT BOX VOTERS AT POLLING STATION POLLING STATION STAFF CHECKING OUT NAMES WOMAN CASTING HER BALLOT VOTERS SEATED PREPARING BALLOT MAN CASTING HIS BALLOT VARIOUS OF PEOPLE CASTING THEIR BALLOT POLLING STATION (SOUNDBITE) (German) SAXONY VOTER, UWE HIEMANN, SAYING: "I hope the CDU wins, that it stays in power, and that it finds someone to rule with, which is difficult - or possibly a minority government, but then with the right partners.") (SOUNDBITE) (German) SAXONY VOTER, ANKE HIEMANN, SAYING: "I am worried about a result where the CDU is the strongest party but that we end up with a red-red-green coalition government as in Thuringia. That would be bad, because somehow the opinion of the people would have been ignored." (SOUNDBITE) (German) SAXONY VOTER, ANDREAS WEIDENMUELLER, SAYING: (ASKED ABOUT THE EXPECTED SURGE IN SUPPORT FOR THE FAR RIGHT) "If it does increase, then one should let them try and see how they do it, it cannot get much worse." (SOUNDBITE) (German) SAXONY VOTER, KERSTIN WEIDENMUELLER, SAYING: "Let's see what the outcome is." PEOPLE EXITING POLLING STATION CDU CANDIDATE AND SAXONY PRIME MINISTER MICHAEL KRETSCHMER ARRIVING AT POLLING STATION WITH PARTNER ANNETT HOFMANN VARIOUS OF KRETSCHMER VOTING (SOUNDBITE) (German) CDU CANDIDATE AND SAXONY PRIME MINISTER, MICHAEL KRETSCHMER, SAYING: "This is an important day, I'm thankful for the great support and great social cohesion, but that's what this Saxon election is all about. We vote on Saxony, not on Berlin and not on Brussels, it is about what we will achieve in our region in the years to come." VARIOUS OF KRETSCHMER LEAVING POLLING STATION
- Embargoed: 15th September 2019 08:44
- Keywords: Brandenburg election coalition Saxony far right Angela Merkel AfD Germany Saxony Prime Minister Kretschmer
- Location: DRESDEN, GERMANY
- City: DRESDEN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001AUTRD53
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Elections in two eastern German states on Sunday are set to yield a surge in support for the far right and raise the pressure on conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel's Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partners to quit her government.
Both Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and the SPD are expected to lose support to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in Brandenburg and Saxony.
The AfD is harnessing voter anger over refugees and the planned closure of coal mines in the two regions and cast themselves as the heirs of the demonstrators who brought about the fall of the Berlin Wall three decades ago.
"If it (the far right vote) does increase, then one should let them try and see how they do it, it cannot get much worse," said Andreas Weidenmueller outside a polling station in Dresden.
Merkel's CDU has widened their lead over the AfD in Saxony, where they have governed since 1990.
"We vote on Saxony, not on Berlin and not on Brussels," CDU candidate and Saxony Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer told reporters after casting his ballot. "It is about what we will achieve in our country in the years to come."
Support for the conservatives in the state of 4 million people on the border with Poland and the Czech Republic is expected to fall by more than 7 points to 32% as they lose voters to both the AfD and Greens.
A humiliating outcome in Saxony is likely to renew debate among conservatives about whether CDU leader and Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, aka AKK, is the right person to lead them into the next national election.
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