Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday called for voters to back her likely successor after polls showed support for her party at an all-time low.
“Citizens have the choice in a few days,” Merkel said while speaking in the German federal parliament, Reuters reported. “Either a government that accepts the support of the (far-left) Linke party with the SPD and the Greens, or at least does not exclude it, or a federal government … with Armin Laschet as chancellor — a federal government that leads our country into the future with moderation,” she continued.
On Sunday, Merkel endorsed center-right candidate Laschet, the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia, to succeed her as Germany’s chancellor.
“Armin Laschet leads this biggest state of Germany very successfully,” Merkel told reporters. “Somebody who can lead such a state can also lead Germany as chancellor.”
Recent polling has shown that support for Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party and the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) is flagging.
As Reuters reported, the poll from Forsa found that 19 percent of voters supported the conservative CDU/CSU parties, while 25 percent put their support behind the centre-left Social Democrats. The new data marks the lowest rating ever for the conservative wing, according to German television channel n-tv.
Merkel’s address on Tuesday will likely be her last speech in the parliament as she will be stepping down at the end of her fourth term in office.
Social Democrat candidate Finance Minister Olaf Scholz is currently the most popular candidate in the polls.
Germany’s election is set to take place on Sept. 26.