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Merkel’s CDU suffers defeats in two key regional votes

Published: Updated:

Germany’s Christian Democrats suffered embarrassing defeats in two key regional votes on Sunday after a muddled coronavirus response, dealing a setback to party chairman Armin Laschet’s hopes of becoming chancellor at federal elections in September.

In the southwestern automotive hub of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the ecologist Greens extended their lead from five years ago over the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which was hobbled after a face mask procurement scandal.

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The Greens won 31.5 percent of the vote in Baden-Wuerttemberg and the CDU 23 percent, down from the 27 percent the conservatives polled at the last state election in 2016, an exit poll for broadcaster ZDF showed.

In neighboring Rhineland-Palatinate, the left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD) came first again with 33.5 percent of the vote ahead of the CDU, which led there in opinion polls until last month but secured only 25.5 percent support in Sunday’s election.

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