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Germany after Merkel..a competition between the right and the extreme right to succeed the German chancellor

Germany's conservatives are vying with the far-right on Sunday in elections in the east of the country that will be a final test before a legislative vote in September that marks the end of Chancellor Angela Merkel's 16-year reign.

According to the Al-Hurra website, about 1.8 million voters were called to the polls to renew the parliament of Saxony, which was part of the former communist German Democratic Republic.

Never before has elections in this small state led since the uninterrupted unification of Germany by the chancellor's Christian Democratic Union, have attracted such interest as they do today.

Opinion polls show the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leading between 27 and 29 percent of the vote, but the competition is likely to be fierce against the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has become the second political force in the state since 2016. Opinion polls suggest it will win between 24 and 28 percent of the vote.

The outcome will depend to a large extent on the undecided, who represent a third of the electorate, according to the latest estimates by the state television, "CDF".

Observers believe that the victory of the Alternative for Germany party, which will be a precedent in the country, will be a disaster for Armin Laschet, head of the unpopular Christian Democratic Union party and the candidate to succeed Merkel after the legislative elections to be held on September 26.

This would revive debate over his legitimacy as a right-wing candidate and "weaken the standing of the entire CDU," said Hugh Funke, professor of political science at the Free University of Berlin.