Weakened Angela Merkel embarks on tough election campaign

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pictured during the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party's congress in Essen, western Germany, on December 6, 2016Angela Merkel’s conservatives gave her an 11-minute standing ovation after handing her another term as party chief but also issued a warning in re-electing her with the worst score since she became German chancellor. With the mixed verdict Tuesday from her party rank and file on her bid for a fourth term, Merkel embarks on her toughest election campaign weakened by her liberal refugee policy that has polarised Europe’s biggest economy. While 89.5 percent is hardly a score to be scoffed at, it fell just short of the 90 percent of Christian Democratic Union delegates seen as a crucial threshold.

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