Setbacks for German CDU in state elections at the weekend
Germany's ruling Christian Democratic Union suffered setbacks in two key state elections at the weekend.
Recent corruption scandals and what some say has been the mishandling of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout are being blamed by some for the party's poor showing in elections in the states of Baden-Wurttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate.
Early projections put the CDU, which currently governs in Berlin together with the Social Democrats, at just 23.6% and 26.5% of the vote in those two states, respectively, their worst results ever.
In 2016, the CDU had taken four percentage points more of the vote in Baden Wurttemberg and 5.8 points more in Rhineland-Palatinate.
The winner in Baden Wurttemberg was the Green party's Winfried Kretschmann, the current premier in that Lander, alongside the CDU.
A recent poll put support for Kretschmann in Baden Wurttemberg at 80%.
Over in Rhineland-Palatinate, the projected winner was the Social Democrats' Malu Dreyer.
In both states, the results of the Sunday election open up the possibility of so-called traffic light coalitions combining Greens, Free Democrats and Social Democrats.
The election results may also tilt the balance within the CDU and its Bavarian sister-party, the CSU, in favour Bavarian state premier Markus Soder ahead of the late-2021 federal elections and away from newly minted CDU leader Armin Laschet.
The current leader for the two parties, the current Chancellor Angela Markel, is set to step down later in the year.