Court to rule on whether elections can go ahead
23 August 2005, BERLIN - Germany's highest court will Thursday rule on whether early elections called for next month by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder can go ahead, a court spokeswoman said.
23 August 2005
BERLIN - Germany's highest court will Thursday rule on whether early elections called for next month by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder can go ahead, a court spokeswoman said.
The judges have reached their decision on a legal complaint brought by two members of parliament who argued Schroeder essentially rigged a vote of no confidence to get the early vote planned for September 18.
Both parliamentarians argue that the Chancellor still has a slim but workable majority.
Germany's constitution sets high hurdles for dissolving parliament and calling early elections in reply to instability caused by the practice during the ill-fated Weimar Republic in the inter-war period.
With the election campaign in full swing, most observers expect the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe to give a green light for the vote to go ahead. But the chamber has been good for surprises in the past.
Germany's top six opinion polls show Christian Democratic alliance (CDU/CSU) challenger Angela Merkel and her Free Democratic (FDP) ally have a slim majority of between 49 per cent and 51 per cent.
Schroeder's ruling Social Democratic (SPD) alliance with the Greens is trailing with between 36 per cent and 38 per cent, the polls show.
Subject: German news