The saarland election: rough coalition expected, leadership open

The saarland election: rough coalition expected, leadership open

Both major parties have made it clear in the unspectacular election campaign that they intend to form a coalition with each other. The only open question is whether CDU incumbent annegret kramp-karrenbauer or SPD top candidate heiko maas will become the new minister president. A neck-and-neck race is expected between them, in which a few hundred votes could be the deciding factor in the end.

Two and a half months after the first black-yellow-green jamaika coalition in the country was abruptly voted out of office, some 800,000 citizens are being called on to vote in new state parliaments ahead of schedule. On saturday, the parties in the smallest of the flatlands canvassed for votes for the last time.

Chancellor angela merkel made the case for a grand coalition led by her party at the official close of the CDU election campaign on friday evening. "If you want a strong government and a rough coalition, you have to vote CDU," she told about 1500 supporters in dillingen. The CDU and minister-president kramp-karrenbauer can be relied upon. If she keeps the leadership role, the saarland will continue to be "in good hands.

During the election campaign, SPD state leader maas repeatedly underlined his goal of finally becoming head of government in his third attempt. At the same time, he ruled out the possibility of a red-red alliance with the left-wing party. Maas had to concede defeat to the then CDU incumbent peter muller in 2004 and 2009.

The top candidate for the left, saar faction leader oskar lafontaine, affirmed on friday that his political opponents would have to continue to count on him in any case: "all the hopes of my competitors that i would not remain in saar politics are false hopes," he said on ZDF television.

Early election in saarland kicks off 2012 state election year. Am 6. May vote in schleswig-holstein, on 13. May also in the most populous state of north rhine-westphalia.

The new election in the saar region became necessary because the first jamaika alliance of CDU, FDP and grunen in germany broke up in january after a good two years. CDU and SPD subsequently unable to agree on rough coalition they now want to form.

In last week’s polls, CDU and SPD were on a par. The election research group calculated a 34 percent share of the vote for both parties in the ZDF "political barometer. Infratest dimap, commissioned by ARD, predicted 33 percent each for CDU and SPD. The left was between 15 and 16 percent. FDP must expect to be kicked out of state parliament (2 to 3 percent). Demoscopes give the pirate party (6 percent) and the greens (5 percent) a better chance of reaching the five-percent threshold.

The state parliament in saarbrucken currently consists of five parties. Strongest force is the CDU with 19 mandates. In addition, a former FDP deputy joined the party as a non-attached member. The SPD has 13 deputies, the left 11, the FDP 4 and the greens 3. In the 2009 state elections, the CDU won 34.5 percent of the vote, the SPD 24.5, the left 21.3, the FDP 9.2 and the grunen 5.9 percent. Voter turnout was 67.6 percent in 2009.

Muller had forged a coalition of CDU, FDP and grunen as prime minister in 2009. He moved to the federal constitutional court as a judge in 2011. His successor kramp-karrenbauer initially continued the jamaika alliance, but announced it at the beginning of january. He justified this by citing the continuing instability of the FDP.

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