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Greens win Stuttgart mayoral vote

Greens win Stuttgart mayoral vote
Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party has lost power in Stuttgart for the first time in nearly four decades

Published: 6:49pm, 21st October 2012
Updated: 5:28am, 22nd October 2012

Voters in Germany's south-western city of Stuttgart have elected the environmentalist Greens' candidate Fritz Kuhn as mayor, preliminary results showed on Sunday, with Chancellor Angela Merkel's party losing power there for the first time in almost four decades.

Mr Kuhn will be the centre-left party's first mayor in a German state capital, securing a victory in the run-off vote that will likely boost the Greens less than a year before planned national elections.

Mr Kuhn received 52.9% of the vote and Sebastian Turner, an independent candidate running for Ms Merkel's centre-right bloc, secured 45.3%, the city's electoral commission said after counting 100% of the ballots.

The result came about 18 months after the anti-nuclear Greens managed to oust Ms Merkel's Christian Democratic Party after almost six decades in power in traditionally conservative Baden-Wuerttemberg state, of which Stuttgart is the capital.

The Greens' leader Winfried Kretschmann since became the party's first state governor, leading a coalition government with the centre-left Social Democrats.

The prosperous south-western region is home to carmakers Daimler, Porsche, software house SAP and many mid-size firms that make up Germany's export champions.

Some 400,000 residents were eligible to vote in Stuttgart on Sunday. Turnout was just above 45%.

The first round of voting had already seen Mr Kuhn slightly ahead of Mr Turner, but he fell short of securing a majority. The conservative incumbent, Wolfgang Schuster, could not seek a third term.

Mr Merkel's Christian Democrats have held power in the city since 1974.

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