Chancellor returns but with diminished authority as first openly nationalist party in decades enters Bundestag

Angela Merkel has secured a fourth term as German chancellor but with her authority diminished, after her conservative bloc secured the lead position in parliamentary elections but failed to halt the march of rightwing populists.

The Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) was celebrating its historic third place success on Sunday night, having secured 13% of the vote, according to exit polls, marking the first time in almost six decades that an openly nationalist party will enter the Bundestag.

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