Merkel clinches third term, might have absolute majority
BERLIN (AFP) - Chancellor Angela Merkel may have captured a shock absolute majority in her winning bid for a third term in German elections on Sunday, in a first since the 1950s, preliminary estimates indicated.
With the ballots still being counted, forecasts on public television showed Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) within a few seats of their own majority with about 42 per cent of the vote.
While Dr Merkel, 59, clinched another four-year stint at the helm Europe's top economy, it remained unclear whether she would govern alone or form a "grand coalition" with her chief rivals, the Social Democrats (SPD).
A preliminary final result was expected early on Monday.