Merkel's party, Greens win in local vote in key German state

ca.sports.yahoo.com
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fairly difficult
Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right party easily defended its position as the strongest force in Germany's most populous region in municipal elections, a result that may boost the state governor's position as he vies to succeed the country's longtime leader. The environmentalist
BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right party easily defended its position as the strongest force in Germany's most populous region in municipal elections, a result that may boost the state governor's position as he vies to succeed the country's longtime leader.

The environmentalist Greens made big gains in Sunday's elections for mayors and councils in North Rhine-Westphalia state, nearly doubling their share of the vote and reflecting their strong showing in national polls. But the Social Democrats — long Germany's main centre-left party, for whom the western region is a traditional stronghold — saw painful losses.

Merkel's Christian Democratic Union won 34.3% of the vote, a little below its score of 37.5% six years ago,…
The Canadian Press
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