German election front-runner faces questioning over searches


BERLIN (AP) — Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, the frontrunner in Germany’s upcoming election, faces questions from lawmakers over an investigation of a unit of the country’s customs service that resulted in a recent police search at his ministry. Scholz and his Social Democrats have raised questions over the necessity and motivation of the Sept. 9 searches at his ministry and the justice ministry, which also is run by his center-left party. Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Union bloc, which polls show trailing by a few points ahead of Sunday’s election, has seized on the searches and on Scholz’s reaction to assail the candidate. Opposition parties called a special meeting Monday of parliament’s finance committee to discuss the matter. 

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