A centre-left government has taken power in one of Germany’s biggest states, a development that gives opposition parties a majority in the German Parliament’s upper house ahead of national elections in September.

The opposition Social Democrats and Greens won a one-seat majority in Lower Saxony’s legislature in a regional election last month ousting Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right coalition after 10 years running the state.

Lawmakers elected Social Democrat Stephan Weil as governor Tuesday.

Germany’s opposition now controls a majority in Parliament’s upper house, which represents the 16 states. That’s of largely symbolic significance but gives the opposition a chance to showcase its plans by sending the lower house policy initiatives.

Merkel’s coalition lost its upper-house majority in 2010 and already had to haggle to get legislation approved.

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