Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Merkel on the outs?

Could her political rivals be greasing the skids for Angie? Highly unlikely, but reports are emerging of strains in her party.
Angela Merkel was still fighting hard Monday to become Germany's first woman chancellor but, with pressure building both from within her conservative camp and from the Social Democrats, she was also scrambling to shore up support and credibility after poor election results Sunday.

Standing conspicuously alone after a meeting of Christian Democratic leaders Monday morning, Merkel announced she would ask the party's legislators on Tuesday to re-elect her as their parliamentary leader. [...]

Joschka Fischer, Green leader and foreign minister, said the idea of joining a coalition led by Merkel was not possible. "Me? Joining a coalition under Merkel? Look, Merkel will not be chancellor."

Other Green leaders said they too would refuse to join a government if Merkel was chancellor - a veiled suggestion that they could perhaps change their minds if Merkel was replaced.
She has been widely blamed for running a poor campaign. A member of her shadow cabinet was a frequent target of Schroeders, while Merkel made several speaking gaffes. However, the idea of her being replaced seems far fetched.

It is hard to imagine that her removal would be the price for Green participation. I see this as simply a case of the Greens throwing the apple of discord in among the CDU, and hoping someone will be foolish enough to pick it up. The Greens hold out hope that despite being trounced in the polls, they can yet govern with the SPD.