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Germany

German Leftists Forge Anti-Schröder Alliance

A new left-wing German party decided Sunday to form an electoral alliance with the former East German communists, the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), a development that could threaten the ruling Social Democrats in upcoming polls. "An overwhelming majority is for the alliance," declared Sabine Lösing, one of the leaders of the Party for Work and Social Justice (WASG), which was founded in January by politicians who split from Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's Social Democratic Party. Although the alliance, which the PDS approved on Saturday, must still receive final approval by WASG members, it is likely to garner a good chunk of disgruntled voters both in the East and the West. Together the two parties, which have not yet agreed on a name, are aiming to obtain more than five percent of the vote on the national level – a minimum requirement for representation in the Bundestag. A survey conducted by ZDF public television last Friday showed that 18 percent of respondents "could imagine" voting for the PDS/WASG alliance in a general election.

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