Germany's Social Democrats won the national election on Sunday, 26 September, by a narrow margin, putting an end to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 16-year-long rule.
The Social Democrats claimed a "clear mandate" to lead a government for the first time since 2005, Reuters reported.
As per projections by broadcaster ZDF, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) were on track for 26 percent of the vote, while Merkel's CDU/CSU conservative bloc was at 24.5 percent, but both groups believed they could lead the next government.
However, with neither major bloc commanding a majority, a three-way alliance led by either the Social Democrats or Merkel's conservatives is expected.
The Social Democrats' chancellor candidate, Olaf Scholz, was quoted as saying, "We are ahead in all the surveys now."
He added, "It is an encouraging message and a clear mandate to make sure that we get a good, pragmatic government for Germany", Reuters reported.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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