NEW YORK MAGAZINE:
Angela Merkel is set to lead Germany for a fourth term after she and her political party, the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), were once again able to form a governing coalition with the country’s second-largest party, the center-left Social Democrats (SPD). The SPD’s vote to join forces with the CDU on Sunday ended almost six months of political deadlock after Merkel’s party fared more poorly than expected in September’s election. As a result, the SPD discontinued its coalition with the CDU, denying the centrist Merkel the majority she needed to form a government.
Contentious negotiations between the country’s political parties dragged on fruitlessly for months, while Germany’s allies looked on nervously. Following the rise of Donald Trump in the U.S., along with the political chaos caused by the Brexit vote in the U.K., many now see Merkel as the de facto leader of the free world, particularly at a time when far-right nationalists are rising across Europe.