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PORTSIDE  September 2011, Week 3

PORTSIDE September 2011, Week 3

Subject:

Social Democrats Win Berlin Elections, Pirate Party Enters Legislature

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 00:24:27 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (96 lines)

Social Democrats Win Berlin Elections, Pirate Party
Enters Legislature
(dpa, Reuters)
Deutsche Welle (DW) (Germany)
September 18, 2011

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15397392,00.html

According to exit polls, Social Democrats in Berlin have
held on to power in the regional government, while the
Free Democrats fail to gain representation at all.
Instead, Berlin welcomes the Pirate Party to parliament.

Early results indicate the SPD brining in 28.6 percent
of the vote in the country's capital, which is also one
of Germany's 16 states. This represents a slight drop in
the SPD's popularity from the previous election in 2006.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, the Christian
Democrats (CDU), improved by 2.6 percent on their last
showing in 2006 but still came in second to the SPD,
polling 23.4 percent. It is the sixth of seven regional
votes that the ruling party in the national government
has lost or failed to gain power this year.

The chancellor's coalition partner, the Free Democrats
(FDP), polled even worse and failed to bring in the
required 5 percent of votes needed to be represented in
the state government. The exit polls indicate the FDP
polled just 2 percent, marking the fifth time this year
the FDP has failed to enter a state parliament. In the
previous election, the FDP won 7.6 percent of the vote.

"We would be wise to show humility about this result,"
said the party's deputy leader, Christian Lindner. "It's
a low-point but also a wake up call. We knew it was
going to be a difficult year and that's been
dramatically confirmed."

Pirates enter parliament

Pirate Party election posterThe Pirate Party is the real
big winner of the Berlin voteThe Pirate Party, however,
did clear the 5-percent hurdle and will be represented
for the first time in a state parliament in Germany. The
Pirate Party, which campaigns for copyright reform, free
wireless Internet service for all and greater internet
privacy, brought in 8.6 percent of the vote.

"This is all very new for us," said Andreas Baum, the
party's top candidate, on German public televison after
the election. "We will need to prepare, get into the
swing of things, but you will be hearing from us. You
can be sure of that."

Estimates indicate around 59 percent of Berlin's
approximately 2.5 million eligible voters cast their
ballots, an increase of about one percent since 2006.

Mayor Wowereit re-elected

The success of the SPD means that Berlin's mayor, Klaus
Wowereit, will remain in office for a third term.

Wowereit, who became the first openly gay leader of a
German state in 2001, is known for his popular touch and
distinctive Berlin accent.

He has ruled in alliance with the Left Party for ten
years but could switch allegiance to the Greens, who
made gains of just over 5 percent and polled 17.9
percent. The Left Party secured 11.6 percent of the
vote. A coalition with the CDU would also be possible.

The victory could boost Wowereit's credentials within
the SPD and even make him a contender for the SPD's
candidate for the chancellery in 2013.

___________________________________________

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