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Social Democrats beat Merkel’s bloc in German elections

Olaf Scholz, Finance Minister and SPD candidate for Chancellor waves to his supporters after German parliament election at the Social Democratic Party, SPD, headquarters in Berlin, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN (AP) — The center-left Social Democrats have won the biggest share of the vote in Germany’s national election, beating outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Union bloc in a closely fought race.

Election officials said early Monday that a count of all 299 constituencies showed the Social Democrats won 25.9% of the vote, ahead of 24.1% for the Union bloc.

The environmentalist Greens came third with 14.8% followed by the pro-business Free Democrats with 11.5%. The two parties have already signaled that they are willing to discuss forging a three-way alliance with either of their two bigger rivals to form a government.

The far-right Alternative for Germany came fourth in Sunday’s vote with 10.3%, while the Left party took 4.9%.

For the first time since 1949, the Danish minority party SSW was set to win a seat in parliament, officials said.

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