Both sides claim a knife-edge victory in the race to elect Merkel’s successor as chancellor

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Loss of votes, which is not a good thing,” he said. “This is the first time we’ve seen a situation. 16 years of Angela Merkel, the chancellor did not run for office. No one had the support of being in office. ”

The results were devastating for Mr. Laschet, who had removed an early leadership in the campaign and may now face moves from within his party to overthrow him as leader.

When asked about his future on German television, he said, “I will discuss what needs to be done when the time comes.”
SPD supporters were elated after the forecasts predicted significant gains for the party and the chances were wiped out by most observers until a few months ago.

“We are ahead, so we have the mandate to form a government,” said Lars Klingbeil, SPD general secretary.

This was a personal justification for Mr. Scholz, who had been rejected as SPD leader two years ago for a recall for the chancellorship, and apparently single-handedly changed the fate of the party.

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