Thomas Kemmerich, Thuringia’s new state president, was elected to office in Erfurt with the assistance of the far-right AfD [Jens Schlueter/AFP]

The small state of Thuringia broke a German political taboo on Wednesday after a candidate for the regional premiership was heaved into office with help from the far right for the first time, sending shockwaves to Berlin.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right CDU party immediately called for fresh regional elections as a way out of the crisis, a call echoed by other mainstream parties.

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Thomas Kemmerich, a politician from the economically liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), was elected as state premier after legislators from the far-right AfD gave him their backing.

As a result, 54-year-old Kemmerich beat incumbent Bodo Ramelow of the

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