German voters will elect a new parliament next week. The outcome of the September 26 elections will decide who will succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has ruled the country for 16 years.
In addition to determining the next chancellor, the main issues of the election are economic policy in the face of the effects of the pandemic and measures against climate change.
According to the latest opinion poll by public broadcaster ZDF, the center-left Social Democratic Party, or SPD, is leading the race with 25 percent support.
Its coalition partner, the center-right Christian Democratic Union, and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, follow with 22%. Merkel was the head of the CDU / CSU alliance.
The Greens have 16%, with growing support as the environment becomes an increasingly important issue for voters.
As for the candidates for the next Chancellor, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz of the SPD is considered the favorite. Armin Laschet of the CDU / CSU alliance, which has Merkel’s backing, and Annalena Baerbock of the Greens are also among the contenders.
Merkel is expected to retire from politics after the election. She guided Germany through various challenges, including an influx of migrants and the pandemic, and assumed a leadership role within the European Union.