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Regional elections reassure Merkel

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Regional elections reassure Merkel


Exit poll results after regional elections in three states in Germany will be comforting news for Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Christian Democrats and Social Democrats look like they have held on to power, preserving a balance seen as crucial for the stability of the country’s coalition government. Today’s polls were in the wealthy states of Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Pfaltz and the poorer eastern region of Saxony Anhalt.

The CDU premier of Baden-Wuerttemburg, Guenther Oettinger, looks likely to have been returned to office. Exit polls show him 20 pecent ahead of his Social Democrats rival.The CDU has also had a strong result in Saxony Anhalt. And the likely return to office of Rhineland-Pfaltz’s SPD premier, Kurt Beck, will add further stability to Merkel’s coalition. Observers, however, say the polls mark the end of her grace period, and she now has to focus on tricky reforms.
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