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In a move that could speed formation of East Germany's first non-Communist government, the Social Democrats agreed Thursday to discuss joining a coalition government with an alliance that won national elections.

The left-leaning party, which finished second in Sunday's balloting to the Alliance for Germany, refused to work with a right-wing party in the three-party Alliance. Alliance leaders left the door open to such an arrangement.A two-thirds majority in the Parliament is needed to approve unification with West Germany, and the Alliance needs the votes of the Social Democrats to get that.

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