Merkel wins in Germany, 'grand coalition' likely: exit polls
BERLIN (AFP) - Chancellor Angela Merkel clinched a third term in German elections on Sunday but will be forced to form an awkward coalition with her chief rivals to govern Europe’s top economy, exit polls indicated.
Voters rewarded Dr Merkel, often called the world’s most powerful woman, with another four years at the helm for steering them unscathed through the euro-zone debt turmoil that engulfed its southern flank.
But in one of the tightest races in German history, they punished her pro-business partner, the Free Democrats, kicking them out of parliament for the first time since 1949, according to the exit polls on public television.
The upstart anti-euro party AfD appeared to fall just short of the 5 per cent hurdle to representation amid anger over German contributions to bailout packages for stricken eurozone partners.