0247 GMT February 20, 2019
The shocking surge of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) to become the second political party and the voting down of Volker Kauder, Angela Merkel’s longest ally and right-hand man in an inner-party ballot have some people saying that the alarms have been sounded for an early elections in Germany.
This is while the experienced chancellor has seen many of such episodes in more than 13 years in power and has weathered all of them.
The US President Donald Trump (Merkel’s old nemesis) and the leaders of AfD – the leading force behind the ‘white nationalism’ in Europe and America – have not hidden their enthusiasm to capitalize on the rise of German hardliners and achieve victory in the next election.
However, the declining popularity of the embattled US president, who himself may face an impeachment, has left many observers describing the far-right revival in the leading economy in Europe as fleeting.
Merkel’s shedding support is the result of the increasing pressure and systematic galvanizing of the public opinion by far-fight as well as Merkel’s immigration policies – a humanitarian gesture to let the war-torn Syrian refuges in.
Many believe that the rise of unbridled and unrestrained racial tensions in Germany, after being dormant for half a century, is now leading the country to the precipice.
And yet the only person who can take the country back from this situation is Merkel, someone who has been through many political and economic crises in addition to European and global ones.
In September, Merkel ruled out leaving office early, amid rising criticism from opposition and within her own party.
“I’m sitting here alive and kicking, and I’m planning on keeping on with my work,” Merkel told an audience in the Bavarian city of Augsburg in an interview with Augsburger Allgemeine.
She again rejected calls from the opposition for a vote of confidence and stressed she is planning to run again for party chair in December.
*Hossein Ziaee is a freelance journalist.