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Shot Across the Bow: Merkel's Ally Ousted by Own Party Rebels

© Sputnik / Alexey VitvitskyGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel - Sputnik International
The dismissal of Germany’s domestic intelligence chief has exposed a rift between Angela Merkel and the country’s security establishment that is dividing her coalition and hindering efforts to contain the fall-out from her “open door” refugee policy.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a surprise blow from her party’s MPs, who rejected her choice of caucus leader.

Volker Kauder, Merkel’s right-hand man in the Bundestag, was voted out and replaced with fiscal conservative Ralph Brinkhaus in a move that highlights dissatisfaction with the Chancellor’s policies.

Interior view of the German Federal Parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. - Sputnik International
Germany: New Migration 'Master Plan' Sparks Discord in Merkel's Coalition
Kauder’s rejection by caucus members from the Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, may not have any immediate consequences for Merkel, but it lays bare divisions in her power base that have increased as a result of her open borders refugee policy.

Even though Merkel's critics have downplayed the vote’s impact on the Chancellor, Kauder’s failure to win the vote reflects the current turmoil in the governing coalition that is undermining support for Merkel’s government.

Last week Angela Merkel dismissed the head of Germany's BfV domestic intelligence agency, Hans-Georg Maassen, for playing down recent violence in the eastern city of Chemnitz over the murder of a local resident by two alleged migrants from the Middle East.

Maassen questioned the authenticity of video footage of right-wing protesters chasing migrants in the streets of Chemnitz.

READ MORE: Chemnitz Riot: Maassen Sacked, Merkel Sticks to Her Migrant Policy — AfD Chair

Public support for Merkel’s coalition government of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats fell to historic lows in last year’s election, with a recent poll showing that a mere 28 percent of respondents approved of the government policies, while  the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany, or AfD, enjoyed record 18 percent support.

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