The CDU is the clear winner of the first democratic elections in East Germany, gaining 40.6% of the votes. The Union ends up in first place in 12 of 15 districts. It is especially successful in the southern districts, where the Alliance for Germany garners 60% to 62% of the votes, and in small towns. The SPD achieves only a surprisingly weak second place, with 21.8%. It wins only a few large cities and Berlin, where the Alliance receives only 22%. The PDS achieves a total of 16.3%, enjoying its best result of 30% in Berlin. The civil rights groups, whose representatives were popular spokespeople of the civic movements in the weeks of the autumn changeover, all remain under 5%. Participation is pegged at 93%.
Willy Brandt comments that German unity has been elected, »rapidly and with no ifs, and buts.« »I hope that we can travel with real money by the summer,« declares Lothar de Maizière, the top CDU candidate, on election eve. Wolfgang Ullmann of Democracy Now is bitterly disappointed.
On East German television, author Stefan Heym's comment on the outcome is, »There will be no more East Germany. It will be nothing but a footnote in world history.«
© 1999, Christoph Links Verlag, Berlin