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German government confirms it wants general election to be held Sept. 22

The German government has proposed holding the country's general election on Sept. 22.

A spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that the date has been formally submitted to President Joachim Gauck. His approval is considered a formality.

Merkel will be seeking a third term as chancellor of Europe's biggest economy.

Recent polls put Merkel's center-right coalition slightly ahead of the main opposition bloc of Social Democrats and Greens.

But despite Merkel's personal popularity among voters, observers say she may have to enter into a "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats if her current junior partners of the pro-business Free Democrats fail to make the 5 percent threshold needed to enter Parliament.