Berlin votes for Christian Democrats in re-election – Politico

Berlin voted for a government for the city state on Sunday, in a repeat of a September 2021 vote that was so disastrously executed that the result was overturned by a court. Initial results show a victory for the Christian Democrats.

It suggests the end of an era of 22 years of uninterrupted Social Democrat rule in the German capital.

According to preliminary results from public broadcaster ARD, the Christian Democrats led with 27.5 percent of the vote, followed by the Social Democrats and the Greens, both with 18.5 percent.

Perhaps as surprising as the election results will be whether any irregularities will emerge in the hours and days ahead.

Political pundits see the credibility of Germany’s democratic institutions at risk, following the 2021 fiasco that saw polling stations run out of paper ballots and others with the wrong candidate’s ballot on them. People had to queue for hours, some stations closed early and others stayed open longer than scheduled.

According to the Council of Europe’s international election observers, this year’s process appears to be going smoothly.

“The overall impression is that everything is going really well,” head of delegation Vladimir Pribylik told the German press agency dpa before the polls closed. “Things are really well organized, I must say.”