Associated Press
Stephan Weil, top candidate for the Social Democratic Party, SPD, in Lower Saxony, left, and Lower Saxony's incumbent state governor, Christian Democrat David McAllister, right, stand next to each other after the state election in Lower Saxony, in Hannover, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative-led coalition was in a neck-and-neck race with Germany’s center-left opposition in a state election Sunday that was a major test ahead of a national vote later this year. Lower Saxony, a region of 8 million people which occupies a swathe of northwestern Germany, has been run for the past decade by a coalition of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union and the pro-market Free Democrats, the same parties that form the national government.  (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

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