Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate: elections in progress | Free press

Mainz / Stuttgart (dpa) – With the state elections in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, the super election year 2021 started on Sunday. The polling stations in both countries have been open since 8 a.m. and close at 6 p.m.

Special rules apply for hygiene and distance. Many people have already taken advantage of the opportunity to vote by mail. In both countries victories are looming for the incumbent operators. The CDU could have historically poor election results. The affair of cases involving corona-protective masks by two Bundestag unionists also hit the CDU election campaigners in the closing stages of the election campaign.

In Rhineland-Palatinate, 3.1 million people are eligible to vote. Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) was confident when she voted in her hometown of Trier on Sunday morning. “But we won’t know exactly until tonight.” There is no atmosphere of change.

In the latest polls, the SPD faced the Christian Democrats with their top candidate Christian Baldauf. Dreyer has been head of government since 2013 and has led the only traffic light coalition in a German state for the past five years. She would like to continue to rule with the Greens and the FDP. CDU party leader Baldauf, on the other hand, wants to replace the SPD with his party after 30 years in power. Neither the green top candidate Anne Spiegel, nor the top candidate of the liberals, Daniela Schmitt, entered the election campaign with a coalition statement.

In Baden-Württemberg, the crowds in the polling stations were limited in the morning in the cold and dirty weather. Here, too, many voters have already cast their votes by letter. In total, 7.7 million citizens in Baden-Württemberg are called to vote for the new state parliament. Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) went to vote in the morning with his wife Gerlinde in Laiz in the Sigmaringen district.

According to surveys, the Greens are probably the strongest force, as in 2016. Your coalition partner, the CDU, is expected to suffer losses. It is uncertain whether the green-black governmental alliance will continue. The Greens could potentially form a traffic light coalition with the SPD and the FDP. According to surveys, a new edition of Green-Red is within reach, as is an entirely new coalition of the Greens and the FDP. Kretschmann had left open with whom he wanted to form a coalition, but the government had to be able to cooperate stably and reliably.

Even the election campaign turned out to be significantly different from normal. The corona restrictions have made an election campaign involving home visits, information booths and major events in halls and plazas impossible.

The two state elections mark the beginning of a super election year. Local elections will also take place in Hesse next Sunday. The composition of the new district councils, city and community parliaments and municipalities is voted for a period of five years. About 4.7 million men and women have the right to vote. This also includes 423,000 EU foreigners.

The state parliaments of Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will also be re-elected this year. In addition, the general elections will take place on September 26.

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