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Merkel Receives Election Blow in Hamburg

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TEHRAN, Feb 21 (ICANA) – The Social Democrats have won the state election in Hamburg. With 48.4 percent of the votes the party headed by Olaf Scholz managed to get the absolute majority in the city state and will return to power after ten years in the opposition.
Monday, February 21, 2011 2:53:25 PM
Merkel Receives Election Blow in Hamburg

The Christian Democratic Union dropped more than 20 percent to 21.9 percent and received their worst ever election result in the city state of Hamburg, the birthplace of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Snap elections became necessary after the governing Green Alternative List dropped out of the coalition with the Christian Democrats. The green Alternative list improved their position with 11.2 percent, but they missed their main target, a centre-left coalition with the Social Democrats, who can now govern alone.

After seven years the Free Democrats return to the state parliament with 6.6 percent of the vote, 6.4 percent voted for the Left Party. The SPD celebrated the new mayor. Christoph Ahlhaus, who took office last year after the surprising resignation of Ole von Beust, couldn't win votes for his controversial policies.

Out of the 16 states, seven are holding elections this year. The first was a huge disappointment for Chancellor Merkel's CDU.

A victory for the Social Democrats had been expected, but this was a landslide. Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union suffered the highest losses at a state election ever. Politicians in Berlin tried to downplay the importance of the result for federal politics, but it might give the Social Democrats a boost with six more state elections still to come this year.

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