Strauss' party unites behind stormy candidate

The West German opposition Christian Democratic Party (CDU) closed ranks Monday behind Franz-Josef Strauss, the hard-line conservative, at the start of a party conference called to map strategy for national elections Oct. 5. The opposition has lost votes in all four state elections held since Mr. Strauss was named its candidate for chancellor a year ago, but the party chief, Helmut Kohl, made clear in a parliamentary speech that there could be no going back on that decision.

As he spoke, West Berlin police prepared for a large anti-Strauss demonstration outside the meeting hall called by trade unions and leftist groups. It was expected to attract 10,000 people. The worst street battles in a decade were fought in West Berlin over the weekend when militants protested at America House, the US cultural center.

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