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Germany

Left Party Gets Election Break

Germany's new Left Party was given an important break four weeks before the planned federal elections. The election comissions in all 16 German states allowed candidates from the Election Alternative for Social Justice (WASG), made up of disgruntled former members of the Social Democratic Party , to appear on the same election lists as candidates from the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), with whom they've teamed up to form the Left Party. The election lists are presented by each national party. The parties decide which candidates appear on the list at their party congresses, placing the most prominent candidates at the top of the list. Which ones get voted into parliament depends on how much of the overall vote their party receives. Until the commission's decision, there was some doubt as to whether the WASG, created in the past few months, would be able to put candidates up for election. The decision by the election commissions means that the Left Party will be able to put up candidates across Germany. They are expected to clearly pass the 5 percent hurdle needed for representation in parliament.

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