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Anti-migrant party makes gains in German state elections

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By Euronews
Anti-migrant party makes gains in German state elections

<p>Members of the anti-immigration “Alternative for Germany party (AfD) have been celebrating after making unprecedented gains in three German state elections. </p> <p><a href="http://www.euronews.com/2016/03/11/germany-s-regional-elections-are-a-big-test-for-merkel/">Voters appear to have punished</a> Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative, Christian Democrats (<span class="caps">CDU</span>) , rejecting her open-door refugee policy. Already represented in five of Germany’s 16 regional assemblies, the AfD succeeded in entering three more.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Win for anti-migrant party in German state elections hands setback to Merkel <a href="https://t.co/qnaaiFS7Rp">https://t.co/qnaaiFS7Rp</a> <a href="https://t.co/ASH3gYC74j">pic.twitter.com/ASH3gYC74j</a></p>— CP24 (@CP24) <a href="https://twitter.com/CP24/status/709162560919113730">March 13, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>AfD party leader Frauke Petry was jubilant when addressing her supporters:</p> <p>“It is the catastrophic policies of Chancellor Merkel which clearly opened people’s eyes. This is the only reason why we succeeded in entering all state parliaments with double -digit percentage figures. In Saxony-Anhalt, we even became instantly the second strongest party.”</p> <p>The AfD grabbed 24.2 percent of the vote in Saxony-Anhalt but the <span class="caps">CDU</span> still managed to remain the largest party there.</p> <p>The gains by the AfD,although significant still did not mean they won any of the states.</p> <p>In Baden-Wuerttemberg the Greens for the first time became the strongest party there with around 31 percent of the vote. A former stronghold of the <span class="caps">CDU</span> support for the conservatives reached a historic low of 27 percent.</p> <p>The Social Democrats (<span class="caps">SPD</span>) were in fact the biggest losers overall with support falling away across the board although they did hang on to Rhineland-Palatinate with 36 percent.</p> <p>But with the <span class="caps">CDU</span> suffering defeats in two out of three of the states, Sunday’s elections are being seen as a serious rebuke for Merkel and the most pronounced protest vote seen so far.</p>