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Oct 14, 2018: Germany’s largest state votes in midst of disputes over migration

GERMANY - Bavaria goes to the polls, with the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) government moving to the right on migration to ward off the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), and with the federal government holding on by a thread.

AfD entered the Bundestag for the first time after the 2017 federal election with 92 seats. Its gains in Bavaria came at the expense of the CSU, which is now worried about retaining its majority in the state parliament. In August it polled at its lowest rate in 2018, according to a new survey reported by Politico.eu.

The CSU functions as a single parliamentary group at the national level with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which governs in coalition with the now-frail center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD). German broadcaster DW sees the possibility that the CDU and CSU could end their parliamentary cooperation because of their present row over migration.

Bavaria CSU leader, Horst Seehofer, now Merkel’s interior minister, has attacked the chancellor on migration. Seehofer wants Germany to start turning away certain migrants at its national borders. Merkel wants an EU-wide solution to migration.

The BBC observed in June that the attack, seemingly timed to coincide with campaigning for the October vote, has “lobbed the political equivalent of a grenade into Mrs Merkel’s terribly vulnerable coalition government, barely 100 days old.”

#22668 Published: 07/01/2018

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