German state vote offers last test before national election

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BERLIN (AP) — Voters in Saxony-Anhalt are going to the polls to elect a new state assembly in what is seen as the last big test for Germany’s political parties before a national election in September. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union won the last election in the sparsely populated state of 2.2 million five years ago. Recent opinion polls show it faces a strong challenge from the far-right Alternative for Germany, which came second in Saxony-Anhalt in 2016. A strong win for the incumbent governor would be seen as a sign that Merkel’s party can hope for support from both conservatives and centrists in this fall’s national election. The long-time chancellor is not running for a fifth term.

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