Germany grapples with hard left, far-right election success

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BERLIN (AP) — Germany's traditional big parties of the center are grappling with the outcome of a state election in which they won a combined 30% of the vote, while parties on the hard left and the far-right triumphed.

Sunday's election in the eastern state of Thuringia ended a year of votes that the daily Die Welt on Monday called a "disaster" for both Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democrats and the center-left Social Democrats, their partners in the fractious national "grand coalition" government.

Merkel's party, which led Thuringia for 24 years until 2014, finished third behind the ex-communist Left Party and the far-right Alternative for Germany.

Christian Democrat candidate Mike Mohring called on ARD television Monday for an "end to all this bickering" in the national government.

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