Authorities in the German city of Essen have ordered a recount of the recently held parliamentary elections following revelation of irregularities. Mayor of Essen Reinhard Pass ordered on Friday the recount of 150,000 votes cast in the recent federal elections. According to the official results of the elections held on September 22, Christian Democrat (CDU) candidate Matthias Hauer won the Essen III seat by a margin of just three votes, beating Social Democrat (SPD) Petra Hinz. However, since the results were announced there has been a dispute over the validity of some ballots. The dispute caused the city officials to launch an assessment.
The review by Essen officials of the tallies found that Hauer had received fewer votes than declared and that the parliamentary seat ought to go to the Social Democratic candidate, who had won by 31 votes.
The recount is to be done by 350 municipal workers during the weekend.
Meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel is negotiating with political parties over a possible alliance, as her Christian Democratic (CDU/CSU) bloc fell short of an absolute majority by just five seats.