BERLIN — An antiestablishment, nationalist party won a foothold in Germany’s parliament Sunday, delivering one of the biggest jolts to the country’s political establishment in the postwar era and sending its multiparty system into uncharted waters.
Alternative for Germany, or AfD, which wants to limit European integration, cut back on immigration and lessen Germany’s focus on Holocaust remembrance, captured more than 13% of the vote in an election that saw eroding support for mainstream parties, exit polls and early results showed.
That means that for the first time in more than half a century, a party will enter the national legislature that holds views well to the right of the center-right bloc led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose Christian Democrats won the most votes Sunday. Parties must win 5% of the vote to seat representatives in the German Bundestag. Merkel’s center-right alliance finished well ahead of its closest competitor, the center-left Social Democrats, 32.7% to 20%, according to projections based on exit polls and early results released by ARD public television.
Backers reacted with jubilation in a Berlin nightclub the party rented out to celebrate the results. “We are going to chase down Merkel,” Alexander Gauland, who co-led the AfD ticket, said on Sunday night, “and get our country back for the people.”
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