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The Possible Kingmakers after Germany’s Federal Election

Days before the federal elections in Germany, it is worth looking at three minor parties, their leaders and policies as they may play a crucial role in forming the next coalition government. The two frontrunners the SPD and the CDU/CSU (Union) are neck and neck in the polls, with the SPD polling between 3-5% ahead of the Union, and the SPD Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz holding the highest popularity rating out of the three candidates.

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Putin’s United Russia Retains Majority in Parliament

After a three-day election was held, President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party has retained its majority in the Russian Parliament. This corresponds with a failed attempt by the imprisoned dissident Alexei Navalny and his team, who established a strategy called Smart Voting, to garner votes away from the Kremlin.

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Trial of Elizabeth Holmes Continues

The trial of Elizabeth Holmes, former Chief Executive of medical company, Theranos, continued this week with testimony from a former employee, Erika Cheung. Holmes and former Theranos COO, Ramesh Balwani, are charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud.

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2021 German Federal Election Preview

The 2021 German federal election is expected to be held on 26 September 2021 to elect the members of the 20th Bundestag. On the same day, the state elections in Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will also be held. Incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel will not run in this election meaning it’s time to look at the main political parties for this election.   Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU)   The Christian Democratic Union of Germany is a Christian-democratic and liberal-conservative political party. It is the major catch-all party of the centre-right in German politics. Armin Laschet has been federal chairman of the CDU since January 2021 replacing Angela Merkel. The CDU is the largest party in the Bundestag, the German federal legislature (parliament), holding 200 out of 709 seats.   According to German Federal Electoral Law, members of a parliamentary group which share the same basic political aims must not compete with one another in any federal state which is why they form a union with fellow Christian Democratic Party the CSU. The CSU also reflects the particular concerns of the largely rural, Catholic south Germany. While the two Christian Democratic parties are commonly described as sister parties, they have been sharing a common parliamentary group since 1949.   Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) The Christian Social Union in Bavaria is a Christian-democratic and conservative political party in Germany. Having a regionalist identity, the CSU operates only in Bavaria while its larger counterpart, the Christian Democratic Union, operates in the other 15 states of Germany. It differs from the CDU by being somewhat more conservative.  

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Legal Challenge Halts Strand Road Cycle Scheme: Where to Now?

The High Court on Friday has upheld a legal challenge to works proceeding on a cycling infrastructure trial on the Strand Road in South Dublin, RTÉ News is reporting. The proposed works would have restricted cars and other motorised traffic to a single lane outbound coming out of the city, with the space created as a result being used to implement a 2 way segregated cycle lane. This scheme would have been initially put in place as part of a 6 month trial.

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