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International - September 26, 2021

German elections: Voters decide who will take charge after Merkel

German elections: Voters decide who will take charge after Merkel

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The fight to succeed popular, long-serving chancellor Angela Merkel could barely be tighter as Germans begin voting in parliamentary elections.

The streets of Berlin are hosting the annual marathon, but the biggest race is taking place across the country.

In a final push for votes, the outgoing chancellor joined conservative candidate Armin Laschet at a rally on Saturday in his hometown of Aachen.

Final opinion polls suggest an unlikely victory could be within their grasp.

At stake is the leadership of Europe’s most powerful economy, and more than 60 million Germans over 18 are eligible to vote.

Polls opened at 08:00 local time (06:00 GMT) on Sunday. A clear indication will come when voting comes to an end at 18:00.

This unpredictable election looked over until Mrs Merkel entered the fray, her career at the top of German politics now weeks from coming to an end.

“It really matters who’s in power,” she warned voters repeatedly in the 48 hours before the vote. Her message was that Germany needed stability and its youth needed a future – and Armin Laschet was the man to provide it.

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