German hard-left leader wins key vote for state premiership

Hard-left party leader Bodo Ramelow returned to power on Wednesday as premier in the east German state of Thuringia after securing the necessary simple majority of lawmakers in the third and last vote for the post.

The 64-year-old Ramelow gained 42 votes, reflecting the support of Die Linke and its two coalition partners – the centre-left Social Democrats and the Greens. A total of 23 lawmakers voted against him securing a second term.

Ramelow stood unchallenged in the last vote. Thuringia’s far-right AfD parliamentary faction leader Bjoern Hoecke decided against standing in the third vote for the premiership after also failing to secure an absolute majority in the first two rounds.

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