A leading member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union rejected coalition talks after Sunday’s elections with the Alternative for Germany party because of its anti-euro stance.
“I rule this out,” Christine Lieberknecht, the prime minister of Thuringia state and a member of the CDU’s national executive committee, said in an interview in her office in Erfurt, in central Germany. It is “campaigning with populist slogans that disqualify it from serving in a coalition,” she said.
Lieberknecht made her comments on the same day that an INSA poll for the first time showed the Alternative for Germany, known by its German acronym, AfD, at the 5% threshold needed to win seats in parliament. Previous polls had the AfD, which wants Greece to leave the Euro and opposes bailouts in the 17-nation currency bloc, below this hurdle.
“These are honorable people and I don’t want to deny their democratic legitimacy,” Lieberknecht said, adding that AfD members come from all political camps. Yet its “anti-EU policy and its anti-euro policy are unacceptable,” she said.
Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc was unchanged at 38% and her Free Democratic partner gained two percentage points to 6%, the INSA poll for today’s Bild newspaper showed.
Social Democratic challenger Peer Steinbrueck’s SPD gained a point to 28%, while his Green party allies dropped three points to 8%. The anti-capitalist Left Party, with which Steinbrueck says he won’t form a coalition, was up a point to 9%. INSA surveyed 2,502 voters on Sept. 10-16. No margin of error was given.
Merkel is running for a third term in Sept. 22 federal elections. She currently has the FDP as junior partner and says she wants to reprise this coalition for another four years.