- Title: Southern German voters wear their traditional Sunday best to cast ballots
- Date: 26th September 2021
- Summary: BENEDIKTBEUERN, GERMANY (SEPTEMBER 26, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MAN IN LEDERHOSEN VOTING BALLOT BEING REGISTERED MAN IN LEDERHOSEN CASTING BALLOT MAN IN LEDERHOSEN LEAVING ON BICYCLE SIGN READING (German): "VOTING ROOM" (SOUNDBITE) (German) VOTER, JOSEF MEINDL, SAYING: "I vote for those who have not bent so much. There are many who have taken a roundabout way. And I don't vote for them. I vote for those who have simply gone straight ahead." (SOUNDBITE) (German) VOTER, FRANZ BADER, SAYING: "What the Greens are up to is a bit too exaggerated for my liking. As a result, I voted for a party that puts the brakes on the Greens a bit. The thing is: I have nothing against climate protection. But we, small Germany, can't do it alone. It costs too much." (SOUNDBITE) (German) MAYOR OF BENEDIKTBEUERN, ANTON ORTLIEB, SAYING: "What was a pity was that election posters of our Bavarian party, the CSU, were heavily smeared. I don't belong to that party, but I think it's part of being democratic to let all the parties present themselves." VARIOUS OF ORTLIEB AT POLLING STATION VARIOUS OF PEOPLE VOTING LEDERHOSEN VARIOUS OF PEOPLE VOTING HAND OVER BALLOT BOX VARIOUS OF MAN IN LEDERHOSEN VOTING VARIOUS OF LANDSCAPE SCHWARZWALD, GERMANY (SEPTEMBER 26, 2021) (REUTERS) WOMAN WEARING TRADITIONAL 'BOLLENHUT' POM-POM HAT ARRIVING AT POLLING STATION CUT-OUT OF WOMAN IN BOLLENHUT OUTSIDE OF POLLING STATION WOMAN DISINFECTING HANDS WOMAN ENTERING POLLING STATION VARIOUS OF WOMAN AT VOTING BOOTH VARIOUS OF WOMAN DROPPING BALLOT IN BOX CUT-OUT OF WOMAN IN BOLLENHUT OUTSIDE OF POLLING STATION WOMAN WEARING BOLLENHUT MUNICH, GERMANY (SEPTEMBER 26, 2021) (REUTERS) POLLING STATION VARIOUS OF MAN IN TRADITIONAL BAVARIAN LEDERHOSEN VOTING
- Embargoed: 10th October 2021 11:25
- Keywords: Bavaria German election German traditional clothing Germany Munich dirndl election lederhosen traditional clothing traditional dress voting
- Location: SCHWARZWALD, BENEDIKTBEUERN & MUNICH, GERMANY
- City: SCHWARZWALD, BENEDIKTBEUERN & MUNICH, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Europe,Government/Politics,Elections/Voting,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001EWCU5ON
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Southern Germans went to the polls on Sunday in Germany's election wearing their regional pride on their sleeve.
Voters dressed in traditional clothing, such as lederhosen and 'bollenhut' pom-pom woollen hats, cast their ballots.
The 'bollenhut' is traditional of Germany's southern Black Forest region. Its 14 pom-poms arranged in the shape of a cross are said to have inspired the cherries on top of the Black Forest cake. Traditionally, unmarried women wear red pom-poms while married women wear black.
This year's election has been deemed too close to call, with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) mounting a strong challenge to retiring Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives - traditionally a stronghold in southern Germany.
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.
A fractured electorate means that after the election, leading parties will sound each other out before embarking on more formal coalition negotiations that could take months, leaving Merkel, 67, in charge in a caretaker role.
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.
The splintered political landscape means a three-way coalition is likely. Final opinion polls gave the Social Democrats a narrow lead, but the conservatives have reduced the gap in recent days and many voters were still undecided.
(Production: Arndt Wiegmann, Ayhan Uyanik, Barbara Woolsey)
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