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German court weighs challenge to early election

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German court weighs challenge to early election

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Germany’s top court is considering a challenge to the president’s decision to dissolve parliament and call an early general election.

Two rebel MPs – Jelena Hoffman and Werner Schulz – claim the parliamentarymotion of confidence deliberately lost by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is at odds with the constitution. Embarrassingly for Schroeder, Hoffman is from his ruling Social Democrats party and Schulz from coalition partner, the Greens. The eight-member constitutional court must decide by a majority of at least five to three in favour of the complaint if it is to be upheld. A ruling is expected by the end of August. The general election is scheduled for September 18. Schroeder surprised the country when he announced he wanted to bring the election forward by a year, following a disastrous showing in regional polls. He said he felt he no longer had the continuing support of parliament.