Angela Merkel retains party leadership, proposes burqa ban
Chancellor Angela Merkel won a new term yesterday as the leader of Germany's main conservative party after stressing her determination to prevent a repeat of last year’s huge migrant influx and advocating a partial ban on face-covering veils
German Chancellor and head of CDU Angela Merkel, and Hesse’s state premier Volker Bouffier vote during the party’s congress. Pic/AFP
Berlin: Chancellor Angela Merkel won a new term yesterday as the leader of Germany’s main conservative party after stressing her determination to prevent a repeat of last year’s huge migrant influx and advocating a partial ban on face-covering veils.
Merkel, who ran unopposed, won 89.5 per cent of delegates’ votes at a congress of her Christian Democratic Union in Essen for a two-year term. That was short of the 96.7 per cent she won in 2014.
The vote came after a speech in which she struck a conservative note, telling members that she wants to stem the influx of migrants and restrict use of face-covering veils, such as burqa and niqab. Those are rarely seen in Germany, and the CDU has concluded that an all-out ban isn’t constitutionally feasible.
"Full veiling is improper here, it should be banned wherever legally possible," she said, drawing loud applause.
"A situation like the one in the late summer of 2015 cannot, should not and must not be repeated," Merkel told delegates on the migrant influx.
While Merkel insists that Germany will continue to take in people who genuinely need protection, her government has toughened asylum rules and declared many countries "unsafe", ie people from there can’t expect to get refuge.
No. of asylum-seekers arriving in Germany last year
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