Germany’s far-right AfD surges in eastern heartland vote

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ERFURT, Germany: Germany’s far-right AfD scored strong gains Sunday in the ex-communist eastern state of Thuringia, home to one of its most radical figures, beating mainstream parties such as Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU, exit polls showed. While popular premier Bodo Ramelow’s far-left Die Linke party easily won with just under 30 percent, the Alternative for Germany scored at least 23 percent, according to public broadcasters ARD and ZDF, more than doubling its result in the previous election in 2014. This put the anti-immigration party in second spot, narrowly ahead of Merkel’s Christian Democrats, who won about 22 percent, their worst score in this...

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