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Merkel's Party Suffers another Defeat in Regional Votes

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TEHRAN, May 23 (ICANA) - It was yet another painful defeat for Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.
Monday, May 23, 2011 9:54:58 PM
Merkel's Party Suffers another Defeat in Regional Votes

In the regional election in the federal state of Bremen it was the Social Democrats who gained 38 percent of the vote and can continue to govern in a coalition with the Greens. With 23 percent of the vote they - for the very first time - even overtook the the ruling conservatives, who sank to 21 percent.

The Social Democrats have ruled Bremen State for 65 consecutive years.

Though Bremen is the smallest federal state, it has the highest debt, the most welfare recipients, the worst results in education and the highest crime rate of Germany's 16 states.

Mayor Jens Boehrnsen is enjoying high popularity rating nonetheless clearly outshining all his opponents.

The Greens are yet again the winners in this super-election year. They have gained votes for the 15th consecutive time. In Bremen they won 6 percent more votes than in 2007.

For the Free Democrats it was the first election under their new chairman Philipp Roesler. But with only three percent they did not make it into the next parliament. Angela Merkel's conservative-liberal coalition won less than a quarter of the votes. For the opposition a clear signal that Germans are fed up with the federal government, too.

It was already the fifth state election this year and Angela Merkel's CDU lost support in four of them. Voters are increasingly unhappy with her handling of the euro-region financial crisis and her reversal of support for nuclear energy.

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