Merkel rival faces local vote test
FRANKFURT: Polls are open in Germany for a local election that will test the strength of the country’s Social Democrats as they try to deny Chancellor Angela Merkel a fourth term.
The Social Democrats are trying to hold onto power in SchleswigHolstein, where they have governed since 2012. A good showing yesterday in the region with a population of 2.8 million would reinforce their prospects for challenging Merkel in the nationwide election in September.
Social Democratic governor Torsten Albig is defending a slim majority for his governing coalition with the Greens and the leftleaning SSW party. Polls point to a tight race with Merkel’s Christian Democrats.
The Social Democrats surged in polls after Martin Schulz, a former European Parliament president, was nominated as Merkel’s challenger, but the party’s ratings have since sagged. AP