Germany: Merkel to take on election rival in TV debate

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Germany: Merkel to take on election rival in TV debate

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel is preparing to face off with election challenger Peer Steinbrueck in their one and only televised debate.

Centre-left Steinbrueck is struggling to make a dent in the conservative’s popularity ahead of the federal poll, in three weeks time.

Sunday’s TV duel is expected to be a must-watch for many voters.

“I’ve been reading that every other German will watch the duel on television” said Anne Will, one of the debate presenters.

Experts say both candidates have to strike the right balance under the heat of the studio lights.

Carsten Reinemann, from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, said that Merkel will be aware of not overwhelming people with too much detail, which could turn voters off.

He added that Steinbrueck is good at going on the attack, but has to be careful that he doesn’t overstep the mark.

Steinbrueck and Merkel will be mindful of public opposition over possible military action against Syria.

She has not explicitly said whether she supports a strike, while he has come out against such a move.