News Digest Item
15 May 2017

“Angela Merkel’s party scores big win in key German state election”

Clean Energy Wire / New York Times

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) garnered another election victory and beat the governing Social Democrats (SPD) in their “heartland”, Germany’s most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). Preliminary results show that the CDU could form a grand coalition with the SPD, but an alliance with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) could be more likely due to common policy grounds, albeit with a narrow majority. This is possible due to a strong showing of the business-oriented liberals, and the Left Party’s failure to pass the 5 percent threshold to enter parliament. The CDU victory “dealt a severe blow to Martin Schulz,” the SPD frontrunner for this autumn’s federal election, writes Alison Smale for The New York Times.
During the campaign, climate and energy policy such as the exit from coal-fired power generation – a topic heatedly debated on a national scale – were largely shunned by major parties in the region that houses Europe’s largest lignite mining district.

NRW state election: preliminary results for 2017 and results for 2012. Source - Landeswahlleiter Nordrhein-Westfalen.


Read The New York Times article in English here.

See the CLEW factsheet Facts on the German state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia article Coal exit: elephant in the room at vote in German industry heartland for background.

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