Scotsman.com News - Latest News - Schroeder Seeks Early Election after State Poll Disaster
: "Germany’s chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was forced to call for an early election later this year – 12 months ahead of schedule – after a humiliating defeat for his party in the country’s most populous state.
A sombre Schroeder said the local election drubbing for his Social Democratic Party in North Rhine-Westphalia yesterday meant he no longer had the national mandate needed to reform the country’s struggling economy.
“With the bitter election results for my party in North Rhine-Westphalia, the political basis for the continuation of our work has been called into question,” Schroeder said in a brief appearance at his headquarters.
“For the continuation of the reforms, I believe clear support by the majority of Germans is essential.”"