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German Social Democrats beat conservatives in vote to decide Merkel successor

Updated: 2021-09-27 07:39
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Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader and top candidate for chancellor Olaf Scholz, his wife Britta Ernst, co-leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) Norbert Walter-Borjans, German Labor Minister Hubertus Heil, Rhineland-Palatinate State Premier Malu Dreyer, Social Democratic Party (SPD) secretary general Lars Klingbeil, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and Lower Saxony's State Premier Stephan Weil react after first exit polls for the general elections in Berlin, Germany, Sept 26, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

BERLIN - Germany's Social Democrats narrowly won Sunday's national election, projected results showed, and claimed a "clear mandate" to lead a government for the first time since 2005 and to end 16 years of conservative-led rule under Angela Merkel.

The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) were on track for 26.0% of the vote, ahead of 24.5% for Merkel's CDU/CSU conservative bloc, projections for broadcaster ZDF showed, but both groups believed they could lead the next government.


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