The Social Democrats narrowly defeated Angela Merkel’s conservative party on Sunday, setting the stage for tough negotiations to determine who will replace her as chancellor.
As Germany’s election results came into sharper focus on Monday, no party won a decisive majority but the loser was clear: Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.
After 16 years in power under Ms. Merkel’s leadership, they saw their share of the vote collapsed by nearly nine points, garnering only 24.1 percent of the vote. It was the party’s worst showing in its history, and the election signaled the end of an era for Germany and for Europe.
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