Merkel's Candidate Seeks To Turn Tide In Election Debate
Frankfurt, Sept 12 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 12th Sep, 2021 ) :A televised election debate on Sunday marks one of the last chances for Germany's struggling chancellor candidate Armin Laschet, from Angela Merkel's conservative camp, to close the gap with his centre-left rival.
Two weeks before voters head to the polls, gaffe-prone Laschet will face off against Finance Minister Olaf Scholz from the Social Democrats (SPD) and Annalena Baerbock from the left-leaning Greens in the second of three primetime debates.
With the Greens polling at 15 percent, a number of coalition outcomes are possible -- but observers say the chances of one-time frontrunner Laschet taking the crown are fading fast.
Bild newspaper said the debate could be make-or-break for Laschet.
"To turn the tide, he needs a clear success," it wrote.
Viewers were left unconvinced by Laschet's performance in the first debate last month, when Scholz was declared the winner.
- 'Historic debacle' - Laschet, the premier of North Rhine-Westphalia state, has been on a downward spiral following a series of missteps, including being caught on camera laughing during a tribute to victims of Germany's deadly floods in July.
Scholz meanwhile, although often described as wooden and uncharismatic, has run an error-free campaign.
As vice-chancellor and guardian of the nation's finances, the 63-year-old has positioned himself as the continuity candidate and the natural heir to Merkel's legacy -- despite hailing from a rival party.
Even Merkel, who is bowing out after 16 years in power and had vowed to stay out of the election battle, has joined the fray.