German Chancellor Angela Merkel address supporters at the headquarters of the Christian Democratic Union in Berlin after the German election.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel address supporters at the headquarters of the Christian Democratic Union in Berlin after the German election. Michael Sohn

Merkel 'will solve problems of far-right'

GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged to listen to the concerns of people who voted for the far-right AfD party to win back their support.

After being returned for a fourth term as Chancellor, Ms Merkel spoke of "illicit migration” and "internal security” - two areas where the AfD has made inroads.

The Christian Democratic Union leader said she would solve the "problems” and also address the "fears” of people who voted for the far-right.

The AfD - Alternative for Germany - won about 13% of the vote, stunning the establishment and bringing a far-right party into parliament for the first time in more than half a century.

While Ms Merkel's CDU won the most votes, it was down on 2013 levels.

"We will have to win back those who voted for the AfD by solving their problems, by taking on board their concerns - their fears in some cases - but also by demonstrating good policymaking,” she told CDU supporters at an election night party in Berlin.

Ms Merkel has faced criticism from the right for her commitment to taking in large numbers of refugees.

At this year's elections, the AfD ran an explicitly anti-Islam campaign.

Initial results suggest Ms Merkel's CDU won 32.5% of the vote, the centre-left SPD crashed to a historically low 20%, the AfD won 13.5%, the liberal FDP 10.5%, the Greens 9.5% and the left-wing Die Linke 9%.- INM



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