Germany’s CDU reelects Angela Merkel Leader With Her Lowest Support Yet— Chancellor Pushes to Ban Burka Facial Veil

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has won reelection as the leader of the Christian Democratic Union.

It will be her ninth term as chairwoman.

The only candidate in the running, Merkel gained 89.5 percent of the votes cast at the CDU congress — her worst result as chancellor and her second-worst performance in a vote concerning her.

Ahead of the ballot, she made an effort to appease the conservative wing of the party.

“In communication between people, which is of course essential to our living together, we have to show our faces,” she said.

While it is unclear whether the German constitution would allow a ban on the burqa, Merkel stressed the importance of integration for new-comers, and this includes rejecting the full-face veil.

Merkel’s comments come as she has seen her approval ratings drop because of her decision to accept around one million refugees into Germany during the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe.

She is facing a heavy challenge from the right-wing populist Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) party, which has been fueled by anti-immigration sentiment. Earlier this year, the Afd called Islam incompatible with the German constitution and called for a ban on minarets and the burqa.

Protesters dressed in burqas attend a rally in front of the Brandenburg Gate, in Berlin, Germany, Sept. 20, 2008. If Germany enacts Merkel’s ban, it would join the three other European countries — France, Belgium and the Netherlands — which aleady have their own specific bans on face-covering veils.

“The 2017 election will be more difficult than any election before, at least since German reunification,” Merkel said, acknowledging there was a “strong polarization of our society.”

Should Germany implement Merkel’s plan, it would join three other European countries — France, Belgium and the Netherlands — that have specific bans on the face-covering garment.

Originally published at on December 6, 2016.