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RESPONSE TO TERROR | IN BRIEF / GERMANY

Chancellor Opts for Vote of Confidence

November 14, 2001|From Times Wire Services

Hoping to overcome opposition to sending German troops to Afghanistan, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder decided to turn a parliamentary vote on deployment into a vote of confidence in his three-year-old government.

Schroeder hopes Friday's vote in Berlin will bring wavering lawmakers from his own Social Democratic Party and its coalition partner, the Greens, in line with his pledge of strong support for the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan.

If the vote fails, it could split the coalition and precipitate an election now scheduled for September 2002. The confidence vote will be only the fourth in Germany since World War II.

Schroeder's government has a majority of 16 in the 666-seat lower house, and a number of coalition lawmakers have indicated they would vote against the planned deployment of 3,900 troops to the campaign.

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