Merkel Coalition to Lose Majority

May 9, 2010 Updated: May 9, 2010

Exit polls from Sunday’s election suggest that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right coalition has lost the country’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).

According to statistics from Germany’s ARD television, Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) won only 34.6 percent of votes while coalition partner, Freedom Democratic Party (FDP) won 6.7 percent of votes.

A big reason for the loss is the 22.4 billion euro (US$28.8 billion) bailout package for Greece, which angered Germans as cities in NRW are facing tough budget shortfalls.

The loss means Merkel will lose majority seats in the Bundesrat (Federal Council), making it much more difficult for her to pass national legislation.