BERLIN Kjøp Adidas Superstar 2 Hvit Originals Sko , Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The conservative union led by German sitting Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday defended its dominant role in the Bundestag (German parliament) with 32.5 percent of the vote, according to the preliminary exit poll.
The figure fell short of expectations and was nine percentage points lower than in the 2013 parliamentary election.
The Union's main rival, Germany's center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) led by former European Parliament president Martin Schulz, also suffered a big setback and took just 20 percent of the vote, which was their worst election result since World War II, said the poll.
In the last Bundestag election of 2013, Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party with its sister Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) party secured 41.5 percent of the vote.
Though lower than expected, the margin of CDU and CSU will still offer a decent chance for Merkel to claim her fourth term as Chancellor.
Senior official of the CDU Volker Kauder told reporters after the preliminary exit poll that the CDU had reached its expectation for the election, and Merkel will remain in office as chancellor and will be granted the mandatory to form the new cabinet.
In a televised speech after the preliminary exit poll, Merkel told her supporters that "we have clear government mandate, and no government can be formed without us", admitting that her bloc had reached strategic goal in election though she had hoped for better results.
She also promised to win back voters of far-right party Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) with good policies, vowing to fight against illegal immigrants while protecting interests of legal citizens.
For his part, Schulz said the election marked a "historic crash" for the SPD. But Thomas Oppermana, a senior official of the party, said Schulz will continue to be the president of the party despite the "crash" and led the renovation of the party.
According to local media ARD, Schulz said his party had no intention to form a coalition government with the conservative union and "will go to the opposite".
In another development, the AfD crossed the five-percent-vote threshold on Sunday came into the new parliament for the first time with about 13.5 percent of votes, becoming the third strongest party in the Bundestag.
It is also the first far-right populist party in the Bundestag since WWII.
"We will hunt Merkel! We want to bring our country and people back," said Alexander Gauland, one of the two candidates of the AfD in this election who always accuses Merkel's policies in refugees and euro crisis.
"It's a historical and outstanding result for AfD. We will experience more pluralism in the Bundestag, and we will experience a lively democracy through the AfD," said AfD's politician Bjoern Hoecke.
Founded in 2013, the eurosceptic and anti-immigration party -- which welcomed Brexit, missed the Bundestag with 4.7 percent of votes in the same year.
The party gained momentum during the Euro and the refugee crisis. It was polling at around 10 percent before Sunday's federal election.
About 73,500 polling stations across the country opened at 8:00 a.m. local time (0600 GMT) and closed at 6:00 p.m. (1600 GMT).
Official statistics showed that Sunday's turnout of the election stood at 75 percent, higher than the 71.5 percent in 2013.
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" A young player puts on safety gear in the changing room before training. Photo: CFP A kid fires a shot in front of a goalkeeper during an ice hockey training session in Beijing. Photo: CFP
Beijingers are sweating on the subway and feeling very grateful for air conditioning this July, but there are some places in the city that are not only cool, but positively icy.
The kids of the Tiger Cub Ice Hockey Club that are enjoying a new rink in Xisanqi in northern Beijing have found a way to stay cool and learn a new skill.
While it is still far from being mainstream, more and more kids are playing the winter sport, especially in China's capital. The city currently has some of China's best youth ice hockey clubs and young players, thanks to its large pool of middle class parents, many of whom have lived overseas and are willing to invest in this relatively pricey sport.
In last December's National Youth Ice Hockey Championship, the Beijing team, composed of amateur players, beat other professional provincial teams and claimed the national title. And last month, 18-year-old Beijinger Song Andong became the first China-born ice hockey player to be drafted in the National Hockey League (NHL), after being selected in the sixth round by the New York Islanders.
The news sparked hopes among Chinese ice hockey fans that China might one day be more competitive in this sport. Currently, the Chinese national hockey team struggles to make it to international competitions. China's national hockey team didn't qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics, and it lags far behind many other Asian countries.
Beijing is bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics, and many believe that a successful bid will further promote winter sports in the country.
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