by Jerome a Paris
Fri Jul 1st, 2005 at 04:02:54 AM EST
Schroeder set for confidence vote
Germany's parliament is due to hold a vote of confidence in the government, which Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder wants to lose to trigger new elections.
Mr Schroeder called for the vote after his Social Democratic Party suffered a bad defeat in a key state poll in May.
He says bringing the election forward by a year is necessary to secure a mandate for his tough economic reforms.
An early election, which needs approval from the president, could hand power to the more popular Christian Democrats.
If Mr Schroeder loses Friday's vote as he hopes to, it will be up to President Horst Koehler to decide whether there are sufficient grounds to call an early election.
Some experts have questioned whether Mr Schroeder's move is constitutional.
I have more info in French which I would need to translate but won't have the time to this morning. I hope that our German members (and others!) will pitch in with more information and comments.