Tags: henriette reker | stabbed | win | election | mayor

Henriette Reker Becomes First Female Mayor of Cologne After Stabbing

Image: Henriette Reker Becomes First Female Mayor of Cologne After Stabbing
In this Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 photo independent candidate for the mayor of Cologne Henriette Reker smiles during her election campaign in Cologne, Germany. (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP)

By    |   Monday, 19 Oct 2015 12:29 PM

Henriette Reker earned 52.6 percent of the vote to become the first female mayor of Cologne, Germany, on Sunday, less than 24 hours after getting stabbed in the neck.

Reker, 44, was attacked just a day before the polls opened in the mayor's race, according to CNN. A judge ordered that the stabbing suspect be held by authorities until his trial.

On Sunday, Reker received the nod for mayor over Jochen Ott, whose Social Democrats had been in power since 2009, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported. Reker, an independent, had the backing of the Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, the Greens, and the Free Democrats.

Reker was reportedly handing out roses to pedestrians in a market Saturday when a man approached her and asked for one.

"When she tried to give him one, he pulled out a knife and stabbed her in the neck," Frederik Schorn, Reker's campaign spokesman, told CNN.

The suspect was reportedly upset about Germany's immigration police and current influx of asylum seekers, according to the BBC News.  Reker had been leading the way in finding accommodations for migrants coming to Cologne.

"In the immigrant crisis and the refugee crisis, we have a very controversial debate in Germany, and . . . there's an active right wing shouting out its propaganda, and some people are just accessible for that," Schorn told CNN.

Deutsche Welle reported that the suspect allegedly stabbed four more people on Saturday before he was stopped by authorities. Reker was transported to a hospital and underwent surgery, according to the German broadcaster.

Cologne University Hospital said that Reker's recovery is likely to go well, but noted that "the healing process for this kind of injury usually takes a certain amount of time."

In a Saturday night rally against xenophobia, Hannelore Kraft, state premier of North Rhine Westphalia, supported Reker, saying, "we stand here together as democrats, to send a sign against this despicable act."

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Henriette Reker earned 52.6 percent of the vote to become the first female mayor of Cologne, Germany, on Sunday, less than 24 hours after getting stabbed in the neck.
henriette reker, stabbed, win, election, mayor
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2015-29-19
Monday, 19 Oct 2015 12:29 PM
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