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German court scraps plan for 3% hurdle for EU vote

BERLIN -- Germany's top court on Wednesday scrapped a requirement for parties to win at least 3 percent of the vote to get into the European Parliament, raising the likelihood that extremists could win seats in May's European election.

The Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe said the 3-percent hurdle was a “serious infringement” of parties' rights to be treated equally.

The decision means smaller parties such as Germany's far-right National Democratic Party could win seats in May's European Parliament elections. Germany is the European Union's most populous country and will have 96 lawmakers in the 751-member legislature, which is elected by proportional representation.

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