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Germany's Christian Democrats Confirm Merkel as Parliamentary Leader


Germany's Christian Democrats and Christian Social Union have re-elected Angela Merkel as leader of their parliamentary group.

Party officials say she received more than 98 percent support. The vote, seen largely as a demonstration of confidence, comes after Ms. Merkel's Christian Democrats edged out incumbent Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats by three seats in the 598-seat lower house of parliament.

German political leaders say Mr. Schroeder and Ms. Merkel's parties plan to meet for coalition talks on Thursday, even though both leaders have claimed the right to be chancellor.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer says he will give up his role as leader of the Green Party, if the group gores into the opposition following Sunday's vote.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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