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Hanover makes history in mayor’s race by electing son of Turkish immigrants

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Belit Onay, a German Green party lawmaker with Turkish roots, won a runoff election on Sunday to become mayor of the city of Hanover, Deutsche Welle reported.

This is the first time a German with immigrant parents was elected mayor of a state capital.

Onay received 52.9 percent of the vote, ahead of the 47.1 percent for center-right candidate Eckhard Scholz of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.

“I promise all of you that I will do my best for our city over the next seven years,” Onay tweeted on Sunday evening.

Hanover now becomes Germany’s fourth major city to elect a Green party mayor, following Freiburg, Darmstadt and Stuttgart. The center-left Social Democrats (SPD) had governed the city for over 70 years.

Onay, a 38-year-old legal expert, was elected after the SPD’s Stefan Schostok stood down from his position as mayor of the Lower Saxony capital earlier this year amid a corruption scandal.

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