Polls open to vote for a new German chancellor

It was still somewhat dark when the first voters came to cast their votes, some tired of the campaigning and glad to be able to put a cross in the box.

Incumbent Chancellor Merkel has been in power since 2005 but plans to step down after the election, making the vote an era-changing event to set the future course of Europe's largest economy.

After a domestic-focused election campaign, Berlin's allies in Europe and beyond may have to wait for months before they can see whether the new German government is ready to engage on foreign issues to the extent they would like.

"I didn't watch it on TV at the end anymore, I was so annoyed by it, because one says one thing, one says another, and they discussed a lot about many things which I hope they stick to later and don't just talk about it before the elections. And I think many things were not discussed that are critical and that will only come now after the election."

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