The Mercury

Merkel’s conservati­ves crush rivals


BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservati­ve Christian Democrats delivered a crushing blow to her centre-left rivals in a bellwether state election yesterday.

The CDU secured 34.5% of the vote in the western rust-belt state of North Rhine Westphalia, the most populous state in the country, according to an exit poll by public broadcaste­rs ZDF.

The vote gives Merkel fresh political momentum in her bid for a fourth term as leader of Europe’s biggest economy.

The CDU scored victories in two other recent state elections – the small industrial state of Saarland and the northern coastal region of

The result brought to an end the Social Democrat government.

About 13 million of North Rhine Westphalia’s 18 million residents were eligible to vote, representi­ng more than one-fifth of the total national electorate. – dpa Schleswig-Holstein.

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