Our guide to the people and issues behind Sunday's elections.Profiles:
Merkel: From Kohl's 'girl' to world's most powerful woman
Germany’s first female leader and the youngest person to become chancellor stands to lead the country for a second term Sunday.
Merkel challenger more diplomat than campaign warrior
A policy wonk by nature, Frank-Walter Steinmeier has spent most of his political career behind closed doors, honing his skills as a technocrat as he climbed the greasy pole one appointment at a time.
'Joker' of German politics dreams of foreign ministry
Guido Westerwelle, the leader of the pro-business Free Democrats, is gunning to become the first openly gay top diplomat in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s new government.
Germany's 'rocking baron,' Merkel's possible successor
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, Germany’s economy minister and “sexiest politician,” is making waves on the German political scene recently, leaving many asking if he might be Germany’s next political superstar.
The highs and lows of Germany's awkward 'grand coalition'
Germany's "grand coalition," which has governed Europe's top economy and most populous country for the past four years, has been less of a love affair than a shotgun marriage.
Germany votes: What’s the difference?
Expatica details the key proposals of Germany's main parties.
Germany votes: How the German electoral system works
Expatica offers a primer on the German party system and explains how a politician becomes chancellor.
Economy, markets would cheer Merkel win
Polls suggest Merkel is a virtual shoo-in to win a second four-year term.
Wounded Social Democrats stagger into German election
Demoralised and divided, Germany's oldest party is in serious trouble after 11 bruising years in power in two different coalitions, with even the country's federation of trade unions refusing to offer its traditional support.