Merkel’s coalition loses German state vote

Merkel’s coalition loses German state vote

Merkel’s coalition loses German state vote

German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers her speech during an election campaign with Lower Saxony's Christian Democratic state governor David McAllister (CDU) (not pictured) in Stade, January 17, 2013. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed regret on Monday over her party's narrow loss in a state election in Lower Saxony that pushed her popular protege David McAllister from office, Reuters has reported.

"I'm not going to pretend, after all the feelings generated by this election, defeat hurts even more," Merkel said at a news conference in Berlin. "We are all sad today. Sad that it didn't work."

Germany’s center-left opposition has won a wafer-thin victory over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition in a major state election - dealing her a setback as she seeks a third term later this year, The Associated Press has reported.

The opposition coalition of Social Democrats and Greens won a single-seat majority in the state legislature in Lower Saxony, a region of 8 million people in northwestern Germany.

The state has been run for a decade by a coalition of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union and the pro-market Free Democrats, the same parties that form the national government.

The 58-year-old Merkel will seek another four-year term in a national parliamentary election expected in September. She and her party are riding high in national polls, but the opposition hopes the Lower Saxony vote shows that she is vulnerable.