Hesse state poll threatens second blow to weakened Merkel


German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks on prior to the start of the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, on October 24, 2018. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday faces a second regional election within a fortnight set to inflict more pain on her shaky coalition and strengthen centrifugal forces that could yet tear it apart.

Earlier this month, Bavarian voters deserted in droves the two allies Merkel counts on for her national government alliance in Berlin — the deeply conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD).

With those results yet to be fully digested in the capital, it’s the turn of voters in Hesse to have their say — and state premier Volker Bouffier, a loyal foot soldier in Merkel’s…

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