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Merkel wins German elections

RIA Novosti

21:52 27/09/2009 BERLIN, September 27 (RIA Novosti) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced victory for a new coalition of her conservative Christian Democrats and pro-business Free Democrats after Sunday's general election.

Speaking to supporters at her campaign headquarters in Berlin, Merkel said: "We have achieved our election goal of a new stable coalition government of CDU/CSU and FDP."

Merkel's alliance of the Christian Democratic Union and the Bavarian Christian Social Union is leading the polls with 33.5% of the vote, German television channels said citing exit polls. Free Democrats secured 15% of the vote, according to exit polls.

The Christian Democrats will be able to end their current "grand coalition" with the center-left Social Democrats, who scored 22.5%-23.5% of the vote.

The Social Democratic leader and foreign minister in Merkel's government, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, conceded defeat on Sunday. "This is the bitterest day for Germany's Social Democrats," he told reporters, adding he would lead an opposition faction in parliament.

The Left Party and the Greens received 12%-13% and 10%-10.5% of the vote, television reports said citing various estimates. The other parties failed to overcome the 5% threshold.

Merkel said it would be a "desired" alliance with Free Democrats, but added she "wants to be the chancellor of all Germans."


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