On Sept. 18, Germans will head to the polls -- one year ahead of schedule. Read about the bumpy road to elections, the issues and candidates involved in DW-WORLD's special dossier.
Uncertain forecast ahead
After his Social Democratic Party suffered defeat in state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia on May 22, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder announced he would call for early elections to put his reform course before voters.
The country's opposition Christian Democrats cheered the decision as they looked to the polls giving them a good chance of forming the next government under their leader, Angela Merkel. If elected, she would become the first woman and the first eastern German to serve as the country's head of government.
To read about the latest developments, the candidates and the key issues involved, click through the links below.