German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday attacked her coalition partner Social Democrats (SPD) for not ruling out a possible coalition with the far-left Die Linke, as the national election campaign entered its final weeks.
Speaking in the parliament, Merkel said Germany will either have a stable coalition government led by Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) after elections on Sept. 26, or a coalition government formed by Social Democrats, which may also include Eurosceptic and anti-NATO former communists.
“This election is especially important because It will determine our country’s direction in the most difficult times,” Merkel stressed, and openly criticized Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the SPD's chancellor candidate.
“The best choice for our country is a CDU/CSU-led government with Armin Laschet as the Chancellor,” she said, adding that such a government will stand for moderation, reliability, and stability in Germany.
Merkel, who has been the nation’s most popular politician, is not running for another term, and did not take an active role in the political campaign.
But after her conservative bloc hit a record low in recent surveys, the outgoing chancellor stepped in, adopting a harsher tone against their rival center-left Social Democrats.
Recent surveys conducted by pollsters INSA and Kantar-Emnid have shown that the Social Democrats have taken a clear lead over Merkel’s CDU/CSU bloc, for the first time in 15 years.
The INSA poll released on Monday showed support for the SPD increased to 26%, up from 18% last month. Merkel’s bloc dipped to 20.5%, down from 27.5% last month.
The survey put support for the environmentalist Greens at 15.5%.
The latest survey by Kantar-Emnid also showed the Social Democrats in the lead at 25%, four points ahead of the Christian Democrats at 21%.