Greens Take Losses in Bundestag
AGAINST all predictions, the elections included a surprise: the downfall of the Greens. Unable to clear the 5 percent hurdle, the western Greens are out of the Bundestag. For nearly eight years, they raged in the parliament, raising the public consciousness but doing little else. The west Germans gave them only 4.8 percent of the vote, compared with 8.3 percent in 1987.
The newly established Greens/Alliance 90 in eastern Germany, on the other hand, gathered 6 percent of the east German vote and are in the Bundestag, but with only seven out of 656 seats. This is a worse performance than that of the former communists, who polled 11 percent in eastern Germany.
The election winner was Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Christian Democratic Union and its sister party, the Christian Social Union, which polled 43.8 percent, slightly less than in 1987. Mr. Kohl's coalition partner, the Free Democrats, gained 2 percentage points, finishing the race at 11 percent.
The expected loser was the Social Democratic Party, which scored only 33.5 percent, as opposed to 37 percent in 1987.
In Berlin, residents also voted for a new city government. They clearly rejected the rocky alliance between the SPD and Alternative List (the local name for the Greens), by giving Kohl's CDU 40 percent of the vote. It is expected that Berlin will be governed by a grand coalition between the CDU and the SPD.