Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday urged Germans to give her would-be successor Armin Laschet the vote to shape Germany’s future, in a last-ditch push to shore up his beleaguered campaign 24 hours before Germans vote.
All throughout his campaign, the conservative candidate had to build up popularity to face his left-wing opponent Olaf Scholz.
Laschet, has been trailing his Social Democrat challenger Olaf Scholz in the race for the chancellery, although final polls put the gap between them within the margin of error, making the vote one of the most unpredictable in recent years.
Merkel had planned to keep a low profile in the election battle as she prepares to bow out of politics after 16 years in power. But she has found herself dragged into the frantic campaign schedule of the unpopular chairman of her party, Laschet.
In the last week of the campaign, Merkel took Laschet to her constituency by the Baltic coast and on Friday headlined the closing rally gathering the conservatives’ bigwigs in Munich.
Merkel tugged at the heartstrings of Germany’s predominantly older electorate on Friday, calling on them to keep her conservatives in power for the sake of stability — a trademark of Germany.
A day before the vote, she travelled to Laschet’s hometown and constituency Aachen, a spa city near Germany’s western border with Belgium and the Netherlands, where he was born and still lives.
Merkel underlined that climate protection will be a key challenge of the next government, but said this would not be achieved “simply through rules and regulations”.
She said Laschet is a “bridge-builder who will get people on board” in shaping Germany to meet those challenges,.