Clinton as first female U.S. President would be a step towards gender balance – Germany’s Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says first female U.S. President would be a step towards gender balance in leading positions.

BERLIN, GERMANY (NOVEMBER 8, 2016) (REUTERS) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday (November 8) said Germany was eagerly awaiting the result of the U.S. Presidential election in November 8.

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump face voters as millions of Americans turn out on Election Day to pick the next U.S. president and end a bruising campaign that polls said favored Clinton.

In a battle centered largely on the character of the candidates, Clinton, 69, a former secretary of state and first lady, and Trump, 70, a New York businessman, made their final, fervent appeals to supporters late on Monday to turn out the vote.

Clinton went into Election Day as the favorite to become the first U.S. woman president after spending eight years in the White House as first lady from 1993 to 2001.

Asked about the meaning of a female U.S. President, Merkel told reporters at a joint news conference with her Norwegian counterpart Erna Solberg in Berlin: “Then we would come a bit closer to a balance of women and men in leading positions.”

“Maybe this would be also inspiring to many young women, who not only understand politics as something belonging to men, but that they have the chance themselves to influence society. There is no women network on a worldwide level though, who wants to dominate the world, that to be said,” Solberg added.

While opinion polls showed a close race but tilting toward Clinton, major bookmakers and online exchanges were more confident that she will win.

Merkel also commented on the situation in Turkey on Tuesday (November 8) following the recent crackdown on media and the arrest of Kurdish lawmakers. “Politically we are working towards a situation in Turkey, which makes it unneccessary for people to seek asylum, because fundamental freedoms are given. We have received alarming signals during recent days, but this won’t stop us from calling for fundamental freedoms such as as the freedom of the press to be guaranteed better than it is at the moment, and also the function of parliament deputies,,” she said.