Merkel’s Party Loses Lower Saxony Election Even as FDP Surges

Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party lost control of Lower Saxony state as Social Democrats and Greens took a single seat majority, buoying the opposition parties eight months before federal elections.

* SPD, Greens took 69 seats in state parliament in Hanover in

yesterday’s election vs 68 seats for Merkel’s Christian

Democrats, Free Democrats, state election director Ulrike

Sachs said * Surge in support for FDP, junior coalition partner to

Merkel’s party nationally and regionally, wasn’t enough to

allow CDU state Prime Minister David McAllister to remain in

power; SPD candidate, Hanover Mayor Stephan Weil, said he

can set up govt with the Greens * Lower Saxony vote is a blow to Merkel as she prepares to

seek third term in national elections in Sept.; result

bolsters Merkel’s SPD challenger, Peer Steinbrueck * Euro little changed from Friday close at $1.3319

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