Henriette Reker
First aid equipment lies on the ground next to an election campaign poster of Henriette Reker who was stabbed in the neck while campaigning in CologneREUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

German politician Henriette Reker who was stabbed in the neck on Saturday (17 October) morning has been elected as the mayor of Cologne. She is still recovering in hospital after surgery.

Reker, an independent candidate supported by Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), won 52.7% of the votes, officials said. She beat six other candidates.

Her condition, has been reported to be serious but stable. She is expected to remain in hospital for the time being.

Reker, who underwent surgery on Saturday, is expected to make a full recovery, her doctors said. She was attacked while running a party information stand in Cologne. Four other people - a local CDU politicians, a Free Democratic Party member of the city government and two members of the public - were also injured in the attack.

Following the attack, members of all parties and citizens held a spontaneous rally in solidarity with Reker near Cologne's main shopping street. Police said the 44-year-old attacker who has not been named, faces charges of attempted murder and grievous bodily harm. He is believed to be angry with Reker because she supported asylum seekers seeking refuge in Germany.

The suspect has no police record and is believed to have acted alone. According to prosecutors and police, a psychiatric examination indicated that the man can be held criminally responsible for his actions.

Reker, 58, is responsible for organising refugee accommodation in Cologne, Germany's fourth largest city. Germany is struggling to cope with the huge influx of asylum seekers. It is expected to take in one million this year but the numbers could be as high as 1.5 million.