German capital Berlin to get first female mayor

Berlin's Social Democratic Party (SPD) top candidate Franziska Giffey reacts after first exit polls for the Berlin state elections in Berlin, Germany, September 26, 2021. REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler

BERLIN (Reuters) - The Social Democrats (SPD) won the regional election to lead the state government in Berlin, according to provisional results on Monday, meaning that their candidate Franziska Giffey will become the first female mayor of the German capital.

Giffey, 43, who was previously family minister in Chancellor Angela Merkel's national government, will take over from the SPD's Michael Mueller as mayor after he decided not to run again.

The SPD scored 21.4%, slightly down from the 21.6% they scored in 2016, while the Greens came in at 18.9%, up from 15.2% and the far-left Linke dropped to 14% from 15.5%.

The SPD looks set to continue their current coalition in city hall with the Greens and the Linke.

Giffey, once seen as a contender to lead the SPD on the national level, stepped down as minister in May after a scandal surrounding plagarism in her doctoral thesis.

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

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