German citizens are actively taking part in the German parliamentary election held on Sunday in the country, local election committees said.

At 11 a.m. local time (09:00 GMT), a total of 37.4 percent of voters cast their ballots in Hamburg, which is a separate federal state, with 24.6 percent of voters having submitted their ballots by post.

​The turnout in the German capital of Berlin as of Sunday’s noon is lower – only 27.2 percent.

​The turnout in Munich amounted to 57.1 percent at noon local time. In 2013, the turnover at the federal election in Munich was 71.5 percent.

​At the same time, 40 percent of voters in the biggest German state of North Rhine-Westphalia cast their ballots.

The polling stations will close at 6 p.m. local time [15:00 GMT]. The preliminary results will be announced early on Monday.

This year a total of 42 parties are participating in the election. Nevertheless, the real competition will be among six major parties, which are Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bloc of Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), Social Democratic Party (SPD) led by former EU Parliament President and Merkel’s key rival Martin Schulz, the Green Party, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the Left Party and eurosceptic party Alternative for Germany (AfD).

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