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    German SPD Party Headed by Schulz Optimistic Ahead of Regional Election

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    The atmosphere in the German Social Democratic (SPD) party’s branch in the German southwestern state of Saarland, seen as the first test for the SPD and its new leader Martin Schulz, is optimistic ahead of the Sunday regional election, SPD Saarland’s spokesman Ingmar Naumann told Sputnik.

    BELGRADE (Sputnik), Victoria Mladenovich — On March 19, the SPD officially elected Schulz as its chancellor candidate, winning the extraordinary 100 percent of the vote. A fresh INSA opinion poll out on March 21 showed the SPD support stands at 32 percent, ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives (CDU/CSU).

    "100 percent for Martin Schulz is a clear sign of support and trust. As many polls and the wave of new party members since Martin Schulz’s election show, the atmosphere and mind-set in and around our party is very optimistic… Certainly, we can benefit from the political momentum," Naumann said.

    According to him, the SPD Saarland has "for quite some time" been above the SPD average on the national level.

    "We are delighted that the national polls finally adapt," Naumann added.

    The SPD and the CDU/CSU have been ruling Germany in a "grand coalition" since last general election in 2013, as well as in Saarland since 2012. The new nationwide vote is scheduled for September 24.

    The SPD and the CDU/CSU have been running neck-and-neck in polls after former European Parliament chief Schulz took over as the SPD’s leader in January. He is the only challenger of Merkel in the race for chancellorship.


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