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Wolfgang Clement on election day 2000

Wolfgang Clement on election day 2000
Source: dpa

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Clement plays tough

A new state assembly in North Rhine-Westphalia is bulletelected on 14 May 2000. bulletWolfgang Clement faces the electorate for the first time as an incumbent state premier. Suddenly he finds himself in a position to play the minor parties off against each other ...

The FDP, headed by Jürgen Möllemann, does surprisingly well. With almost 10 per cent of the vote, the liberal Free Democrats offer their services to the SPD as coalition partners.

The other minor party, the Greens, suffer a set-back, losing three percentage points. Wolfgang Clement engages in talks on both fronts but, after tough negotiations, decides to continue with the "red-green" coalition.

As for the Christian Democrats, the CDU again fails to poll more than 37 per cent. The last time it attained a significantly better outcome was back in 1980.

All in all, it is a poor showing for democracy. Public interest in the 2000 state election wanes, with just 57% participation - the lowest turnout on record since the foundation of NRW.

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