At a time when Indians and people of Indian origin are holding influential positions in global companies, foreign governments and, in some cases, even heads of government, the German city of Bonn elected its first Indian-origin mayor Ashok Sridharan. Mr Sridharan secured 50.06 percent of the votes, according to the provisional results. He is the son of an Indian migrant and a German mother.
Mr Sridharan’s victory marks the end of more than 21 years of the Social Democrat Party (SDP). Mr Sridharan belongs to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party of Christian Democratic Union.
Germany has a sizeable Indian community of around 143,000 people, but there hasn’t been adequate representation from the Indian community in political life of Europe’s largest economy.
Prior to his election as mayor, Mr Sridharan served as the treasurer and assistant mayor in the municipal administration of neighbouring town Koenigswinter. His nearest rival Peter Ruhenstroth-Bauer of the SPD finished far behind him with a share of 23.68% of the votes while Tom Schmidt of the Green party received a share of 22.14% of the votes. The result comes as a surprise to many pollsters who had predicted a much closer finish than what the final result showed.
Mr Sridharan will take over the reins of the city administration from the outgoing SPD mayor Juergen Nymptsch on October 21.
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