Source Pravda.Ru

Merkel's held a narrow lead over Schroeder's with votes counted from 80 percent of districts

Conservative leader Angela Merkel's party held a narrow lead over Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats late Sunday, with votes counted from 80 percent of districts, the national election authority said.

Merkel's Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, had 36.5 percent of the vote after 241 of 299 districts declared. Schroeder's Social Democrats had 34 percent and their junior coalition partner, the Greens, 7.9 percent. The pro-business Free Democrats had 9.8 percent and the new Left Party 7.9 percent, reported AP.