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The Left Party (Die Linke) is the result of a merger in 2007 of the PDS, the successor to the communist ruling party in former East Germany (GDR) and the West German far-left WASG.
The Left Party's voter base is traditionally East German, working class and elderly - although the party also attracts disgruntled SPD members. They campaign against welfare cuts, but for minimum wage and strict controls of the banking sector. They are the only German party demanding an immediate withdrawal of German troops from missions abroad and a dissolution of NATO. With 64 seats of 631 after the 2013 general election, the Left are the most powerful force in opposition in the Bundestag. This page collates all DW content pertaining to the party.
Angela Merkel's conservatives have suffered their worst postwar result. The center-left Social Democrats now lead, preliminary results show. Both parties say they are ready to form the next coalition.
The center-left Social Democrats are ahead of the conservative CDU/CSU bloc by almost two percentage points, preliminary election results show. In such a tight race, the possibilities for a coalition are still unclear.