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Merkel's bloc stumbles badly in Germany; horse-trading ahead

Germany's centre-left Social Democrats and outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel 's centre-right bloc both laid claim Sunday to lead the country's next government as projections showed the long-time leader's party heading for its worst-ever result in a national election.

People queue to cast their ballots outside the Jane Addams School in Friedrichshain, Germany, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. German voters are choosing a new parliament in an election that will determine who succeeds Chancellor Angela Merkel after her 16 years at the helm of Europe’s biggest economy. (Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa via AP)