Opposition gains in Germany

Germany's center-left Social Democrats won an election in the country's smallest state, a result that left them to choose whether to end a regional "grand coalition" which mirrors the national government.

Opposition gains in Germany
Germany's center-left Social Democrats won an election in the country's smallest state Sunday, a result that left them to choose whether to end a regional "grand coalition" which mirrors the national government.

While the Social Democrats, or SPD, maintained their decades-long hold on the northwestern city-state of Bremen, it was not an entirely satisfying victory for a party that is struggling nationally.

The SPD won 36.8 percent of the vote, down from 42.3 percent four years ago, according to final official results. The Christian Democratic Union declined to 25.7 percent from 29.8 percent.

The Greens scored 16.4 percent, while the Left Party took 8.4 percent and the business-friendly Free Democrats 6 percent.

The SPD won 33 seats, the CDU 23 and the Greens 14, with seven going to the Left Party and five to the Free Democrats. The far-right German People's Union, whose vote share was steady at 2.3 percent, retained one seat.

The result in Bremen allows the SPD either to continue the coalition or turn to the Greens, reviving a center-left alliance that ran Germany under former Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder until 2005.

Some 487,000 people were eligible to vote for the 83-seat state legislature. Turnout was a lackluster 57.6 percent.
Last Mod: 14 Mayıs 2007, 12:34
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