Angela Merkel will continue into her fourth term as the chancellor of Germany, that much is clear. Who she will form a coalition with, and how the ascension of a far-right party to the parliament will affect the politics of the country, will not be known for some time.
With a provisional 12.6 percent share of the votes, the election of far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) can by and large be seen as the result of anger and disillusionment at the government's handling of the refugee crisis, which in 2015 led to around one million asylum seekers entering the country. A survey has shown that 60 percent of people who cast their vote in favor of the AfD did so, not because they consider themselves supporters of the party, but due to disappointment related to the other parties. In other words, a protest vote.
Protest or not, the AfD has now been given a mandate to influence policy in Berlin. How Merkel, her party and any future coalition partners handle this, remains to be seen.
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