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Greens hand party leaders solid re-election

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Photo: DPA
13:43 CET+01:00
Green party leaders Claudia Roth and Cem Özdemir were re-elected to run the party for the next two years on Saturday. For Roth, victory was sweet after loosing her bid to represent the Greens in next year's election.

Roth gained 88.5 percent of the votes from the 800 Green party delegates – an increase on the 79.3 percent she got last year. Özdemir was voted in again with 83.29 percent of the votes. The pair have headed the party together since 2008 and this year ran unopposed.

The past week had been tense for 57-year-old Roth as she came in fourth in the race to be one of the two party candidates in the upcoming election, with 26.2 percent of the votes.

Nevertheless, she gave a speech at the three day party conference in Hannover saying “the dark times are over.” She added that over the past few weeks she had been plagued with shadows and suffered from “an internal storm.”

“You have to ask yourselves if I am the right person for you the way I am,” she said before the vote, adding that she would not be about to change. What she could offer, she said, was a parliamentary chair who would not give up.

Roth is considered to be the left-wing face of the party, while 46-year-old Özdemir is more centrist.

He said the Greens would target voters disappointed with Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and Free Democrat coalition. “We are a party left of central with clear values and principles,” he added.

During the conference, the Greens decided on a number of social reform policies included setting a minimum wage and increasing social welfare payments.

Leader of the Social Democrats Sigmar Gabriel offered both Roth and Özdemir his congratulations and made it clear that he would be looking to forge a partnership with them after the 2013 elections.

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DAPD/The Local/jcw

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