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Germany votes in tight national election race to decide Merkel's successor Updated: 2021-09-27 09:35:05 KST

Tens of millions of Germans headed to the polls Sunday to pick who they want to replace Angela Merkel, who is stepping down after 16 years as German chancellor.
They are just a few hours until the official temporary results come out.
For more, we have our Kim Sung-min on the line.
Sung-min, fill us in.

Mark, media projections show that the center-left Social Democratic Party is set to win by a slight margin, with Merkel's party the center-right Christian Democratic Union in second.
Projections by broadcaster ZDF showed that the Social Democrats were on track for 26 percent, ahead of the conservative bloc, at 24.5 percent.
The candidates hoping to replace Merkel are Olaf Scholz, the leader of the SPD and Armin Laschet from the CDU, and both of them have claimed a mandate to lead the next government.
The final results are expected during early Monday but the SPD's lead looks increasingly likely to stay, albeit by only a slim margin.
But regardless of the outcome, the winner would still need to team up to form a coalition with other parties to form a government a process that may take weeks or even months.
This is where the Green Party, currently holding third place, could have a big role to play.
So considering Germany's complex voting system and the closeness of the race, it could take some time before we get to find out who the ultimate victor is.
Germany's era-changing election comes as chancellor Angela Merkel plans to step down following the election,.. after holding office for almost 16 years since 2005.
Merkel has been the second-longest serving Chancellor in German history and also a popular one widely seen as a symbol of stability in Europe.
Germany will sooner or later greet a new chancellor but until the election comes to end and coalition is formed, Merkel is not going anywhere yet.
Mark.
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