Social Democrats Win Most Votes in German Election

Monday’s preliminary results showed Germany’s centrist Social Democrats won the most votes in national parliamentary elections, while parties struggled to find a successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Social Democrats received 25.7 percent of the vote in Sunday’s election, followed by Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), winning 24.1 percent.

Governor Armin Laschet of the conservative CDU bloc and outgoing finance minister and Social Democrat vice-chancellor Olaf Scholz are vying for the post of leader of Europe’s largest national economy while Merkel resigns after 16 years as chancellor.

Each said they would approach smaller parties in a bid to form a governing coalition, with a target of having a new government before the end of this year.

The main targets for its support are the Green party, which occupies third place with 14.8 percent of the vote, and the pro-business Free Democrat party, which won 11.5 percent of the vote.

Merkel will remain in power as interim until her successor is elected. [uh/lt]

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