Germans See Red Over Green Party Candidate’s Bonus Scandal

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Annalena Baerbock, the co-leader of Germany’s Green party, is losing ground in the race to become the country’s next chancellor, a new poll shows.

Baerbock would receive 20% of the vote if national elections were held today, a drop of 4 points compared with last week, according to the poll by Insa published in the Sunday edition of Bild. The result comes days after Baerbock admitted to receiving bonus payments which she failed to report to parliament.

Germans See Red Over Green Party Candidate’s Bonus Scandal

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, the candidate for the Social Democrats, would receive 18% of the vote, while the CDU-led conservative bloc’s pick, North Rhine Westphalia state premier Armin Laschet, would garner 15%. Nearly a third of respondents said they wouldn’t vote for any of the three candidates in the Sept. 26 national elections.

Since being nominated by the Green party as its choice for chancellor, Baerbock has emerged as the most likely candidate to succeed Angela Merkel.

But the 40-year-old has suffered a number of recent setbacks. On Wednesday, it was revealed that Baerbock failed to report bonus payments from her party worth 25,000 euros ($30,455). Following a public outcry, Baerbock said she had forgotten to report the payments to parliament, a requirement under the law.

The Green party leader came under political pressure last week after she called for outlawing short-distance flights. Baerbock also had to correct an earlier statement in which she spoke out against the export of German military equipment to Israel, which recently halted its 11-day conflict with the Hamas group.

“The security of Israel is part of Germany’s raison d’etre,” Baerbock said on Monday.

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