Kohl's parties win 5 German state elections

October 15, 1990|By Los Angeles Times

BERLIN -- The parties of Chancellor Helmut Kohl's ruling coalition swept five of six state elections yesterday, four of them in the former territory of East Germany. The show of strength leaves Mr. Kohl the overwhelming favorite to retain the chancellor's post in national elections just seven weeks away.

In addition to giving Mr. Kohl the inside track to become the first freely elected all-German chancellor in nearly 60 years, the extent of the coalition parties' victory yesterday also enabled the Kohl government to recapture a majority in the Bundesrat, the federal Parliament's upper house, whose composition is determined by the country's 16 states.

The Social Democratic Party, Mr. Kohl's main opposition, had won a majority in the Bundesrat last spring and thereafter used it to exert an influence at the national level, including pressure on the government for changes in the treaties that accomplished German reunification.

As vote-counting continued late into the evening, it was clear that Mr. Kohl's Christian Democratic Union had emerged as the dominant party in four of the five newly created states in what used to be East Germany, while its main coalition partner, the Christian Social Union, easily recaptured the important stronghold of Bavaria.

In heavily industrialized Saxony, largest of the new eastern states, the Christian Democrats won a clear majority. They scored a plurality Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.

Only in Brandenburg, the state that surrounds Berlin, did the Social Democrats win a plurality.

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