Germans head for the polls: What's at stake and who are the candidates? | DW News

Voters across Germany are casting their votes in a national election that will decide who succeeds Angela Merkel as chancellor. It’s one of the most uncertain German elections in living memory, with opinion polls too close to call.
Many Germans have left their decision of which party to vote for until the very last moment. Others have already made their choice via postal ballot. The latest opinion polls show the center-left Social Democrats and their chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz with a slight lead over Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats, led by Armin Laschet. Meanwhile, the environment-focused Green Party, with Annalena Baerbock, is expected to come third, but could play a decisive role in forming a coalition.
German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier has cast his ballot in Berlin. Early this morning, he called on all Germans who are eligible to vote to cast their ballots, saying every vote counts, and adding that those who do not vote are allowing others to make their decisions for them. The German presidency is a mainly ceremonial position. But the president does have an important role after the election, swearing in the new chancellor and cabinet.


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