West Germany: Double Zero at The Polls

Double Zero at The Polls

Bad news for Chancellor Helmut Kohl. In two key state elections, Kohl's Christian Democratic Union lost significant ground to the small Free Democratic Party, the junior partner in West Germany's center-right coalition and an advocate of the Soviets' "double zero" option to remove both medium- range and short-range missiles from Europe.

The most surprising election results came in Rhineland-Palatinate, Kohl's home state, where his party lost its absolute majority for the first time since 1971. In Hamburg, the Free Democrats picked up 6.5% of the vote, mostly at the expense of the Christian Democrats. Said Kohl, maintaining that the results would...