Far-right makes gains in local elections

9th June 2008, Comments 0 comments

The ultra-nationalist NPD has gained a foothold on all local councils within the eastern state of Saxony

Berlin -- Local elections in the eastern German state of Saxony have provided a significant boost for the far-right NPD party, provisional results indicated Monday.

The ultra nationalist NPD  is likely to be represented in all local authorities in the state, which borders the Czech Republic and Poland, after it secured around 5.5 percent of the vote in Sunday's elections.

After most of the votes had been counted, the largest party was Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) with 39.5 per cent of the vote. The party seems set to put up 123 of the 282 mayors elected.

The new Left Party, formed last year as the successor to the PDS, which in turn grew out of the communist party that ruled East Germany until reunification in 1990, camesecond with 18.7 percent.

Independent voter associations were likely to get 12.1 per cent, while the Social Democrats (SPD), the main German left-of-centre party, secured 11.5 percent and the liberal FDP 8.3 percent.

The NPD is ostracized by all the main parties and there have been attempts to have it banned as unconstitutional. A law outlawing the party was struck down by the Constitutional Court in 2003.

According to initial figures, voter turnout was a relatively low 45.8 percent of the 2.9 million eligible voters, the lowest ever in the state. Final results were expected later Monday.

Saxony holds state elections in autumn next year.

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