[JURIST] Germany's Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) [official website] ruled Thursday by a seven to one margin that Germany's early parliamentary election scheduled for next month can go ahead. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder [official profile; BBC profile] purposefully lost a vote of confidence in the federal parliament in July, prompting the scheduling of the vote one year earlier than the original date. Two dissenting members of Schroeder's camp came forward with claims that his actions were unconstitutional, but the high court judges backed the German government's decision to move the election forward. Campaigning has already been taking place and current polls show that the opposition conservative Christian Democrats [official website in German], headed by Angela Merkel [BBC profile] are 12-14 points ahead of Schroeder's Social Democrat party [official website in German]. BBC News has more. Deutsche Welle has local coverage.