Monday, January 19, 2009

Germany: Angela Merkel's party gets boost in election year

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party on Sunday won a local election in the state of Hesse, the first local election in the general election year for Germany, Xinhua News Agency reorts.

The Christian Democrats (CDU) have won enough votes for a coalition with its desired partner, the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) in the election, but it is still not a reliable test for the mood of the general election year, according to some local analysts.

The analysts thought it might change the future coalition structure at the national level as the CDU seeks the FDP as a partner. After the CDU formed a coalition with the FDP in Hesse, five of Germany's biggest states, which account for more than two thirds of the population, would be ruled by conservative-FDP alliances.

The Social Democrats (SPD) lost the election mainly because they tried to form a government with the aid of the Greens and radical Left party, which broke their campaign promise made before, according to local media reports.

The defeat of the SPD in Hesse prompted its local leader Andrea Ypsilanti to resign, as he had decided to ally with the Left while neglecting the advice from national party leaders. Hesse is a central state with a population of 6 million. It is home to Germany's financial capital Frankfurt, and one of the country's most prosperous states.

The CDU has ruled the state since 1999, and in the past 10 months it was governed by a caretaker government led by Roland Koch from the CDU.

Source: FOCUS Information Agency
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
Putting principles before profits