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Merkel risks setback in German state vote

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-13-12 05:28 AM
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Merkel risks setback in German state vote
Hmmm. This article seems to refer to Merke's party either as "conservative" or "center right," as though the terms were interchangeable. Hmmm.

And AP is not exactly a leftie organization. Hmmm.

May 13, 4:19 AM EDT

Merkel risks setback in German state vote

Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's most populous state holds an election Sunday, with polls showing good chances of victory for a center-left regional government that Chancellor Angela Merkel has sought to label as irresponsibly spendthrift.


Sunday's election is the third state-level vote this year. It comes a week after a regional coalition of Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats and the pro-market Free Democrats - the parties that make up the national government - lost power in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein.


North Rhine-Westphalia, a traditional center-left stronghold, is voting three years ahead of schedule after its current minority government, made up of Germany's main national opposition parties, narrowly failed to get a budget passed in March.

Opposition leaders declared that the vote would send an important signal ahead of national elections due in late 2013. Merkel said it offered an opportunity for the region to elect a government that wouldn't take on "ever more debt."


The struggling Free Democrats' main aim is to win the 5 percent of votes needed to retain their parliamentary seats, building on a surprisingly strong performance last weekend in Schleswig-Holstein.

The upstart Pirate Party, which has surged in recent months with a platform of near-total transparency and Internet freedom but lacks policies on many issues - including the debt crisis - hopes to enter its fourth state legislature. That could complicate the center-left's chances of winning a majority.


Current national polls consistently show Merkel's conservatives as the biggest party. However, they forecast a parliamentary majority neither for her center-right coalition - which has become notorious for infighting on a wide range of policy issues - nor for the Social Democrats and Greens, who ran Germany from 1998 to 2005.


A victory by the left will not change the balance of power. Still, best wishes to the left.
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