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Hamburg’s Social Democrat mayor Scholz re-elected

February 15, 2015

BERLIN (AP) — Voters on Sunday re-elected Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats as Mayor of Hamburg — a traditional stronghold of the center-left party.

Scholz won with 46.5 percent of the vote in the northern Germany city, according to an ARD television projection based on exit polls and partial counting. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party received only 16 percent. At national level, the two parties govern together in a coalition.

According to ARD, the anti-Euro party AfD that has expanded its platform to talk tough on immigration got 5.8 percent — enough to get over the 5 percent hurdle needed to gain seats in the city’s legislature. It would be the first time the party captures seats in a state legislature in western Germany, following three strong performances in the formerly communist east last year.

The Green Party won 11.9 percent and the Left Party 8.4 percent.

Scholz said that should his party need a coalition partner he would first hold talks with the Greens.

The liberal Free Democrats, which had been kicked out of Germany’s parliament in the last national elections and several state parliaments, won 7 percent of the vote.

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