Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right coalition has suffered a setback in a key state election. German public television has called the election in favor of the center-left opposition - by the smallest of margins.
ARD public television called the Lower Saxony state election in favor of the opposition Social Democrats (SPD) and their natural coalition partners, the Green Party late on Sunday night. The projected results give the SPD and Greens a total of 69 seats in the state legislature, compared to 68 for Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats and their preferred coalition partners, the liberal Free Democrats.
The Social Democrats' candidate to take over as premier in the state, Stephan Weil, said he intended to use the slim majority to form a new center-left government. This would replace the incumbent center-right coalition led by Premier David McAllister of Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democrats.
More to follow…
pfd/ccp (Reuters, dpa)