Key Words:German;ruling coalition;defeat;Angela Merkel;CDU;FDP;
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HANOVER, Germany, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The German ruling coalition was defeated in a key state election in Lower Saxony, preliminary official result showed on late Sunday.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) earned 36.0 percent of votes, the result released late Sunday night showed. Its pro-business ally the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in the state, the same as at the federal level, got 9.9 percent.
The Social Democratic Party (SPD), CDU's main rival, claimed a support rate of 32.6 percent, while its partner the Greens had 13.7 percent.
More than five hours after the end of the election, it was clear that the "red-green coalition" of SPD and Greens had succeeded in ousting the ruling "black-yellow coalition" of CDU and FDP, with a majority of seats in the state parliament of Lower Saxony.
In the 137 seats of the parliament, "red-green coalition" gained 69 seats, "black-yellow coalition" got the rest 68.
Stephan Weil, mayor of the state's capital of Hanover from SPD, would replace David McAllister, the charismatic CDU new star, as the Lower Saxony Prime Minister for the next five years.
The result sent a warning signal to Merkel, as she was facing the same challenge from coalition of SPD and the Greens at the federal level, and wishing the Sunday election to offer a strong boost in her party's campaigns in the next eight months.
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