W. German politicians are household gnomes

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Plastic garden gnome figures of Chancellor Helmut Kohl are outselling those of his challenger, Johannes Rau, by 7 to 1 before West Germany's general election, Der Spiegel magazine reports. The Kohl gnome, reclining with a fly-swatter, is the hottest item in a pack of ``Bonn Rascals'' launched by a Hanover firm as a special series for the Jan. 25 election.

The Chancellor's gnome sales follow opinion polls predicting that his Conservative-Liberal alliance will have little trouble in beating Mr. Rau's Social Democratic Party to obtain another four-year term in power.

The Helmut Kohl gnome accounts for 42.1 per cent of total sales, Der Spiegel said.

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Only 6 percent of buyers want the dwarf effigy of Johannes Rau.

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