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German election: Merkel attacks left as polls point to defeat

Chancellor Angela Merkel has targeted the centre-left favourite in the race to succeed her, in what is likely to be her final appearance before MPs.

In a bid to bolster her own party's candidate ahead of Germany's 26 September elections, the outgoing leader was bitterly critical of Olaf Scholz, whose SPD is leading the polls.

Mrs Merkel warned that a vote for his party could let in the far left.

"Germany faces a choice of direction," she said.

Voters had two options, she said: either a government made up of the centre-left and the Greens "which accepts the support of the left-wing party, or at least doesn't exclude it", or a conservative-led government with her party's candidate Armin Laschet as head.

"That is exactly what Germany needs," she told the Bundestag, weeks before the end of her 16 years as chancellor. A Laschet government stood for stability, reliability, moderation and centrality, she contended.


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