Berlin / Oliver Tovig Nia / Anatolia

Germany’s political parties will continue their efforts to persuade hesitant voters, hours before voting begins on Sunday, to choose the country’s next chancellor.

The candidate of the “Christian Democratic Union / Christian Social Union” (CDU / CSU) coalition, Armin Laschet, appeared on Saturday in his last gathering with outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel, in his hometown, in the municipality of Aachen (west), according to the network. CNN America.

Rival candidate Olaf Schultz of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) is organizing his last rally in his constituency in the eastern city of Potsdam.

On Friday, the Green Party, the Alternative for Germany and the Left held their last official rallies.

** Intense competition

Opinion polls in recent days indicated that the result is very close, with the Social Democratic Party enjoying a slight precedence, with an approval rate of 25.2%, compared to 22.4% for the Christian Democratic Union, according to the same source.

The Green Party, along with its candidate, Annalina Barbuk, came in third place in the opinion polls, with a percentage of 15.9%.

A new poll shows that nearly 35% of voters are still hesitant about who they will vote for, or whether they will vote at all, less than a day before polling begins, making predictions difficult before the vote.

Commenting on the latest opinion polls, Schultz of the SPD told the local newspaper, Bild, on Friday evening: “There are many, many opinion polls now, and they all show that the SPD is ahead, and the momentum for it is unbroken.”

Schultz confirmed his confidence that voters “will give me the task of forming the next government.”

** Calls for change

In the last rally of the Social Democratic Party in Cologne, in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the west of the country, Schulz said that “a change in the government is urgently needed, after more than 15 years under the rule of Chancellor Merkel.”

In Dusseldorf, the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Green Party’s Barbock called for an environmental awakening, telling hundreds of listeners, “This election is a climate election.”

** Youth participation

Some 60.4 million people are eligible to vote in Germany, including 2.9 million first-time voters, according to government data.

Polling data shows that a higher youth voter turnout will favor the pro-environment Green Party and the liberal Liberal Democrats, rather than the traditional, established parties.

Merkel remains the country’s most popular politician, but she has not run for another term, nor has she played an active role in the Christian Democrats’ political campaign.
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