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Merkel's coalition loses state vote

Germany's centre-left opposition has won a wafer-thin victory over Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition in a major state election - dealing her a setback as she seeks a third term later this year.

The opposition coalition of Social Democrats and Greens won a single-seat majority in the state legislature in Lower Saxony, a region of eight million people in northwestern Germany.

The state has been run for a decade by a coalition of Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union and the pro-market Free Democrats, the same parties that form the national government.

Merkel, 58, will seek another four-year term in a national parliamentary election expected in September.

She and her party are riding high in national polls, but the opposition hopes the Lower Saxony vote shows that she is vulnerable.


From Belfast Telegraph