ANGELA Merkel has been pictured telephoning residents in the state of Hesse before they head to the polls in a crunch vote, which threatens to tear down the German Chancellor’s government.
The German leader made the unusual step to directly phone voters in a desperate bid to persuade them to back her party CDU’s candidate in Hesse, home to Germany’s financial capital, Frankfurt.
Merkel is desperate to claw back power in the state, one of the CDU’s traditional strongholds.
With support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the Greens rising, according to opinion polls, it looks increasingly likely the CDU will lose power. Losing Hesse would prompt calls for Mrs Merkel to resign as Chancellor, bringing her 13-year premiership to an inglorious end and prompting a leadership challenge.
Images of Mrs Merkel phoning residents posted on Twitter exposes the chancellor’s fragility as she clings on to power after 18 years at the helm of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Posting the photo
(above), which shows Mrs Merkel on the phone, Nico Lange wrote: “Well, good morning, this is Angela Merkel. “Chancellor, Minister-President Bouffier and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer are motivating election campaigners of the CDU in Hesse with direct phone calls.”
Angela Merkel’s popularity has taken a battering after her open door policy saw more than one million African and Middle Eastern refugees arrive in Germany in 2015. The German Chancellor’s party is set to receive only 26 percent of the votes at the upcoming state election in Hesse, according to a survey by pollster Forschungsgruppe Wahlen for broadcaster ZDF.