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Germany’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU) secured a decisive victory in regional elections over the weekend, foreshadowing a possible return for the center-right opposition following last year’s defeat in the country’s general elections, Politico reported.

The CDU won 43 percent of the vote in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, gaining 11 percentage points from the last elections in 2017. Meanwhile, the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Chancellor Olaf Scholz only won 15.5 percent – losing almost 12 percentage points from five years ago.

Meanwhile, the Greens came second at 17 percent, while the pro-business Free Democratic Party received seven percent. Both parties are part of Scholz’s “Traffic Light” coalition that has governed since the 2021 elections.

Observers said the results show a worrying trend for Scholz and his party ahead of another important regional election in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state and a traditional SPD stronghold. Polls show the CDU and SPD neck-to-neck, with the center-right party gaining a small lead in recent days.

Scholz has come under fire in recent months for his hesitancy in supporting Ukraine following Russia’s invasion in February.

In contrast, CDU party leader, Friedrich Merz, saw his popularity rise after visiting Ukraine’s capital and its president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, recently.

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