(excerpt from) The Guardian UK
German Greens hail state victory in vote overshadowed by Fukushima
• ‘Historic’ first ever victory in regional Landtag vote
• Chancellor suffers after U-turn on nuclear power
The Green party has taken power from Angela Merkel’s conservatives in one of Germany’s richest states, preliminary results from the Baden-Württemberg elections show.
The chancellor’s Christian Democratic Union party, or CDU, had ruled the region’s state legislature for almost 58 years, but found itself on the wrong side of the nuclear debate following Fukushima. Even before the Japanese earthquake, the party was unpopular locally for sanctioning a multibillion euro project to build a railway station in Stuttgart.
Support for the CDU slumped from 44.2% in the 2006 state election to 39%, according to official results.
The state parliament’s new leader would be Winfried Kretschmann, 62, a spiky-haired former science teacher. He is likely to become the Green party’s first regional “minister president” after his party gained 25% of the vote; enough, when combined with the 23.1% for the centre-left Social Democratic party, to form a coalition…