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Merkel’s party tops local votes in northern German state


Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party maintained its position as the most powerful party in a northern German state

Sunday’s elections for local councils in the state of Lower Saxony in northwestern Germany could boost the Christian Democratic Union, although these votes have very limited significance for the national image , where polls currently show the CDU slightly behind the center-left Social Democrats. .

The CDU has been the strongest party in local council elections in Lower Saxony for around 40 years, although the state government has often been led by the Social Democrats, and is today. In Sunday’s election, he won 31.7% of the vote, down from 34.3% five years ago, according to the results.

The Social Democrats finished second with 30%, down slightly from 31.2% in 2016. The Green environmentalists increased their share of the vote to 15.9% from 10.9%.

The three candidates for chancellor – Armin Laschet of the CDU, social democrat Olaf Scholz and green candidate Annalena Baerbock – faced each other on Sunday evening in the second of three televised debates.

A pair of snap polls after the debate suggested he probably didn’t bring a decisive turnaround in a race in which Scholz, the veteran vice-chancellor and finance minister in Merkel’s government, bolstered his relative popularity in the middle doubts about his rivals. Both showed that respondents ranked Scholz as the best performer.

The final debate will take place next Sunday, a week before the legislative elections on September 26. Merkel announced in 2018 that she would not be running for a fifth term.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the German elections at https://apnews.com/hub/germany-election

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ABC News

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