German Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed her centre-right party’s candidate Armin Laschet to succeed her, in an unusually tight poll campaign.
In a CDU rally in Mr Laschet’s home town of Aachen, Mrs Merkel praised him as a “bridge-builder who will get people on board”.
The election is too close to call, with polls putting the centre-right almost neck and neck with the centre-left SPD.
Mrs Merkel has dominated German politics for 16 years as chancellor.
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Mrs Merkel had vowed to avoid the campaign for Sunday’s election, but her CDU-CSU alliance has lost what was a comfortable lead in the polls and is now trailing just behind the SPD (Social Democrats) – the junior partners in the current coalition government.
German elections poll
The Green Party is on course to come third, but could still feature in government; analysts say a wide range of coalitions could be technically possible, if politically tricky, to negotiate.
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