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Merkel party routed in Berlin polls as right-wing AfD gains

German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a joint statement with the French President after the European Union Summit of 27 Heads of State or Government in Bratislava, Slovakia on September 16, 2016German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party suffered a historic loss in Berlin state elections Sunday while the right-wing populist AfD gained fresh support, riding a wave of popular anger over her open-door refugee policy. The anti-Islam Alternative for Germany party won around 14 percent, according to public broadcasters’ projections, in the capital which has long prided itself on being a hip, diverse and multicultural city. The strong AfD result, thanks to support especially in the vast tower block districts in Berlin’s former communist east, meant it has now won opposition seats in ten of Germany’s 16 states, a year ahead of national elections.

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