Merkel’s struggling partner tries to rally voters
Angela Merkel

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partners are trying to rally their voters for Sunday’s federal election after suffering a serious state vote defeat.

The pro-market Free Democrats lost their seats in the state legislature in Bavaria on Sunday, falling below the 5 percent mark needed to enter Parliament. The outcome highlighted uncertainty over Merkel’s chances of continuing with her current center-right coalition government.

Polls showed the Free Democrats at around 5 percent nationally ahead of the election.

Vice Chancellor Philipp Roesler, the Free Democrats’ leader, warned on n-tv television Monday that if they don’t make it into the federal Parliament Germany’s center-left could team up with a hard-left rival to take power.

He says: “Nobody wants that.”

The Merkel-allied Christian Social Union won a majority in the Bavarian vote.

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