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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Scharping Named

HALLE, Germany -- Germany's opposition Social Democrats have confirmed Rudolf Scharping as their candidate for chancellor in October's general election, with 95.4 percent of the delegates votes cast. The secret vote at a special electoral congress Wednesday in this east German city was supposed to be a formality but became a barometer of Scharping's popularity within the party after it suffered several setbacks in recent weeks. The result was lower than the 99 percent the last two candidates -- Johannes Rau in 1987 and Oskar Lafontaine in 1990 -- received but not under the 90 percent line below which the party feared a rebuff for his faltering campaign