Chancellor Angela Merkel has claimed victory after winning a second term in office in German federal elections. The result allows her to dump her centre-left coalition partners in favour of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP).
AFP - Chancellor Angela Merkel claimed victory on Sunday for her desired centre-right coalition after winning a second term in office in German elections.
"We have achieved our goal of gaining a stable majority for a new government," a beaming Merkel told cheering supporters at the Berlin headquarters of her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) party.
"I want to thank all those who supported me ... all those voters who wanted a new government with us and who voted for it," she said, as supporters cried "Angie! Angie!".
"But I want to say to everyone in this country that I want to be the chancellor of all Germans, so that things improve for our country ... I think we've really earned the right to celebrate tonight."
Preliminary results indicated that the CDU will be able to ditch its coalition partners of the past four years, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), in favour of the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP).
"We want to be part of a stable government, a different government that devotes itself even more decisively towards creating jobs, that can bring our country forward even more decisively," Merkel said on public television.
"Our main objective has been achieved, namely a change of government, which for me is what really counts this evening."
But Merkel acknowledged that she has a bulging in-tray waiting for her, with Germany hit hard by the global recession, saying that tackling unemployment -- currently at 8.3 percent and forecast to rise -- would be her "top priority."
Date created : 2009-09-27