German Chancellor Angela Merkel traveled Saturday to Aachen, hometown of her would-be successor Armin Laschet, to support his campaign before the Germans’ vote.
Laschet, 60, has been trailing his Social Democrat challenger Olaf Scholz in the race for the chancellery. But his 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 and lead a normal life. However, 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.
The chancellor called all the citizens to keep her conservatives in power for the sake of stability in Germany. “To keep Germany stable, Armin Laschet must become chancellor, and the CDU and CSU must be the strongest force,” she said.