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Germany/Legislatives: Voting to choose Angela Merkel’s successor begins

Voting began in Germany’s legislative elections on Sunday, when voters will have to choose a successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Polling stations opened this morning in a legislative election in which Social Democrats and conservatives are vying to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will withdraw from political life after 16 years in power.

The voters, whose number reaches 60.4 million, were called to cast their votes until 6:00 pm (1600 GMT) to elect their deputies, while the latest polls indicated that the Social Democrats, led by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, led by a slight difference, with 25 percent of the vote intentions, against 22 to 23 percent for the Conservatives led by Armin Laschet, which is the lowest historical percentage for the outgoing chancellor’s party.

Merkel has been in power since 2005 but plans to resign after the elections.

This election is the 20th legislative vote in Germany since the end of World War II in 1945.

The elections for the German parliament are held – according to a mixed system that combines the open proportional list, and individual seats – for half of the 598 parliament seats.

While 299 constituencies are witnessing a direct election process for individual seats, party and independent candidates are also competing.

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