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  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union political party, waves to residents with her husband, Joachim Sauer (left), after they cast their votes in national elections in Berlin on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. Mrs. Merkel is running for her third term as chancellor. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

    Angela Merkel bidding for 3rd term as chancellor in German election

    Chancellor Angela Merkel was strongly favored to win a third term at the helm of Europe's biggest economy as Germans voted in a national election Sunday, but the popular conservative's hopes of governing with center-right allies for another four years were in the balance.

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel waves during an election campaign event of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in Bad Koestritz, Germany, on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

    Merkel's allies appear to triumph in German state of Bavaria

    Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative allies triumphed in Bavaria's state election Sunday, according to projections, though her partners in government suffered a painful setback just a week before Germany's national vote.

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks up after smelling coffee beans during the opening tour of the International Green Week in Berlin on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/dpa, Michael Kappeler)

    Merkel coalition, rivals in tight German state election

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative-led coalition was neck and neck with Germany's center-left opposition in a state election Sunday that was a major test ahead of a national vote later this year, projections showed.

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who also is chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU), delivers her keynote speech at the party's 2012 convention in Hanover, Germany, on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    Germany's Merkel sets stage for 2013 elections

    Chancellor Angela Merkel launched her bid for re-election Tuesday, telling party faithful her government has successfully steered Germany through the worst of the European financial crisis and is best equipped to guide it through what may still be tough times ahead.

  • ** FILE ** German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Norbert Roettgen, a candidate of the conservative Christian Democratic Union party, wave during a campaign rally in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on Wednesday, May 9, 2012, ahead of elections in the populous German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

    Merkel risks setback in German state vote

    Germany's most populous state is holding a legislative election Sunday, with polls showing good chances of victory for a center-left regional government that Chancellor Angela Merkel has sought to label as irresponsibly spendthrift.

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who also is chairwoman of the conservative Christian Democratic Union party,
arrives for the party's weekly executive committee meeting in Berlin on Monday, March 28, 2011. The CDU  suffered a major defeat Sunday in Baden-Wuerttemberg state elections after almost six decades in power there. (AP Photo/dapd/Berthold Stadler)

    Merkel's coalition digests painful election defeat

    Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged Monday to press ahead with a review of nuclear power's future in Germany after her coalition suffered a "very painful" defeat in a weekend state election dominated by Japan's nuclear crisis.

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