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New German anti-euro party predicted to enter EU parliament; far-right party to win seat

AfD leader and top-candidate of the Alternative fuer Deutschland party (alternative for Germany) Bernd Lucke talks to the media after hearing first results of the Eurepean elections in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Axel Schmidt)

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AfD leader and top-candidate of the Alternative fuer Deutschland party (alternative for Germany) Bernd Lucke talks to the media after hearing first results of the Eurepean elections in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Axel Schmidt)

BERLIN - A party that wants Germany to stop using the euro currency is set to enter the European Parliament after receiving 7 per cent of the vote in European elections, according to partial results released late Sunday.

Analysts described the result as a serious challenge to Germany's established parties, which have championed the euro and sought to brand the Alternative for Germany party as unelectable mavericks.

Official figures based on 393 of 402 voting districts put the year-old Alternative for Germany on course to take six or seven of the country's 96 seats in the European Parliament.

The party's leader said members were generally in favour of the European Union despite their rejection of the common currency.

"We won't work with right-wing populists," party leader Bernd Lucke said after the vote.

Lucke said his party would seek talks with the European Conservatives and Reformists, a group that includes the British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc received 36 per cent of the vote, a slight decrease on 2009. Her centre-left coalition partner the Social Democrats gained strongly to receive 27.4 per cent of the vote, according to the preliminary results.

Germany's Green party received 10.5 per cent while the Left Party got 6.9 per cent.

A recent ruling by Germany's top court removed a requirement that the country's parties receive at least three per cent of the vote to enter the European Parliament. This means several fringe parties will also send deputies to Brussels, including one from the far-right National Democratic Party. Germany's 16 states have asked the constitutional Court to consider banning the party because of its anti-Semitic and anti-democratic tendencies.

Turnout in Germany was slightly higher than during the previous European elections, at 48.2 per cent compared with 43.7 per cent in 2009.

Final results will be announced early Monday.

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