Voting is underway in a ballot in Germany which could help break the political deadlock in the country following last month’s earlier general election results. The vote in Dresden was set back two weeks because of the death of a candidate – now people in the eastern city are having their chance to influence Germany’s most inconclusive election since World War II.
Even though the outcome in Dresden is not expected to change the preliminary result significantly, the ruling Social Democrats could gain a seat or two at the expense of the opposition Christian Democrats. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s party finished marginally behind the conservative CDU but neither party could muster enough support to form a parliamentary majority.
Victory for the SPD would strengthen Schroeder’s hand in negotiations with the Christian Democrats – led by Angela Merkel – on forming a so-called ‘grand coalition’ of the countries two main parties. The big issue is who should be chancellor – a right being claimed by both leaders. Merkel is from the east and polls give her the advantage over Schroeder. But nothing is certain in this election