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Germany

With Lindner, Germany's Free Democrats hope they're Bundestag-bound

Germany’s pro-business Free Democrats have overwhelmingly reconfirmed Christian Lindner as party leader in Berlin. After achieving victories in northern German states, Lindner is looking forward to a better future.

One and a half years after the Free Democratic Party lost representation in the Bundestag, Germany’s federal parliament, there is an indication voters are willing to give the party “a new chance,” leader Christian Lindner said on Friday.

Lindner was confirmed in his office again, with 92 percent of votes.

At the beginning of a three-day conference in Berlin on Friday, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) set

new goals for the future

. Lindner, speaking to over 600 delegates, outlined some of the FDP’s motivations, but is expected to give a more detailed description of party positions on Saturday. The convention will last until Sunday.

Looking forward to 2017 Bundestag elections

After FDP's defeat in German parliamentary elections 20 months ago,

Lindner took over

the leadership from

Philipp Rösler

. After that loss, many believed the FDP to be more-or-less politically dead. A resurrection is no easy task for a party that has been without Bundestag representation since 2013.

But Lindner is optimistic on the FDP’s chances to claw its way back in. At the moment FDP is represented in seven out of 16 state parliaments, as oppositional factions.

However, Lindner has warned members not to get ahead of themselves, saying there was a “bumpy ride” ahead. After victories in northern state elections in Hamburg and Bremen, “we are here to show what we’ve resolved to do,” he said.

All eyes will be on March 13, 2016, said Lindner – as that’s the day state elections in the states of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt will take place.

ra/jr (AFP, dpa)

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