October 2, 2005

Merkel extends lead after last German vote-official

BERLIN (Reuters) - Angela Merkel's conservatives extended
their lead over German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social
Democrats to four parliamentary seats after a delayed district
vote on Sunday, the chief election official said.

The conservatives have won 226 seats in the Bundestag lower
house and the SPD 222 seats, according to the official
provisional result including central Dresden, the last area to
vote in Germany's federal election.

After voting in the rest of Germany two weeks ago, the
conservatives had won a three seat advantage over Schroeder's
SPD. The election in the eastern city of Dresden was delayed
due to the death of a candidate.