Merkel Slaps Down FDP Ally’s Plea for Votes to Survive Election

German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected a plea by her Free Democratic coalition partner for help in surviving the Sept. 22 federal election.

FDP leader Philipp Roesler, reeling from a state election drubbing for his party in Bavaria yesterday, called on backers of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union to split their ballot and give the second vote to his party this weekend. Merkel slapped him down today during a campaign rally.

“We have no votes to give away,” Merkel told supporters in the town of Duderstadt, in Lower Saxony state. “Both votes for the CDU, that’s our slogan.”

Merkel’s planned repeat of her current coalition was thrown further into doubt after the FDP slumped to defeat in Bavaria, where it failed to reach the 5 percent threshold needed to win seats in the regional assembly.

That result prompted Roesler to make his plea for the second of the two ballots each German voter receives. The first ballot is cast for a candidate in their constituency, while the second determines the share of seats each party gets in the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag.

“Whoever wants to have Merkel, vote FDP,” Rainer Bruederle, the FDP’s candidate for chancellor, told reporters in Berlin today.

Merkel rebuffed that argument, saying that she wants the first vote for the “strong voice” of the local CDU candidate and the second vote for herself, because “I would like to work for you for four more years.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Rainer Buergin in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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