Monday 15 October 2018

German centre-left party ponders new Merkel coalition

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Social Democratic Party Chairman Martin Schulz (AP)
Chancellor Angela Merkel and Social Democratic Party Chairman Martin Schulz (AP)

Supporters and opponents of a new alliance with Chancellor Angela Merkel are making their case to members of Germany's main centre-left party, who will decide this weekend whether to negotiate a new governing coalition.

Mrs Merkel's Union bloc and leaders of the centre-left Social Democrats last week reached a preliminary deal to open formal coalition negotiations.

That agreement now needs approval from a party congress on Sunday of the Social Democrats, many of whose members are sceptical of any deal after a disastrous election result in September.

Over the weekend, a small regional branch of the party came out against a new coalition, and some prominent party members picked holes in last week's agreement.

The Social Democrats' parliamentary leader, Andrea Nahles, told Deutschlandfunk radio that she is optimistic about winning over a majority of members.

Press Association

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