Merkel’s coalition loses state vote21/01/2013 - 07:37:29
Germany’s centre-left opposition won a wafer-thin victory over chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition in a major state election, dealing her a setback as she seeks a third term in office.
The opposition coalition of Social Democrats and Greens won a single-seat majority in the state legislature in Lower Saxony, a region of eight million people in north-western Germany, last night.
The state has been run for a decade by a coalition of Ms Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union and the pro-market Free Democrats, the same parties that form the national government.
Ms Merkel, 58, will seek another four-year term in a national parliamentary election expected in September.
She and her party are riding high in national polls, but the opposition hopes the Lower Saxony vote shows that she is vulnerable.
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