Polls have opened in Germany as voters choose a new parliament. The outcome will determine who gets to replace Angela Merkel after almost 16 years as chancellor, Deutsche Welle reports.
There are plenty of uncertainties about this election. In the run-up, more than a third of voters were still unsure who to vote for, although a record number have already posted their votes in.
Calling on all Germans to vote, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: “Whoever takes part will be heard, whoever does not vote lets others decide for them.”
In a final push for votes, the outgoing chancellor joined conservative candidate Armin Laschet at a rally on Saturday in his hometown of Aachen.
Final opinion polls suggest an unlikely victory could be within their grasp.
The German electoral system produces coalition governments. It seeks to unite the principles of majority rule and proportional representation. Each voter casts two ballots. The first is for what is called a “direct” candidate from their constituency and the second is for a political party.
Any party that gets more than 5% of the votes is guaranteed a place in the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag.