Monday, January 27, 2020 | ePaper

Angela Merkel coalition in balance as ally loses SPD leadership race

  • Print


Many within the party remained wary of continuing to govern in Angela Merkel's shadow.

AFP, Berlin :
The future of Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition was thrown into question on Saturday as her deputy chancellor and finance minister lost the leadership race of his centre-left party SPD.
The humiliating defeat for Olaf Scholz marks another sign of discontent within the Social Democrats over their partnership with Merkel's centre-right party.
It was also a prelude to expected high drama in the coming week with the party poised to vote on whether to stay in the coalition as delegates meet for their annual congress from Friday.
Scholz and his running mate Klara Geywitz, who back staying in the coalition til 2021, obtained only 45.33 percent of the vote of the party's rank and file.
They were soundly beaten by challengers Norbert Walter-Borjans und Saskia Esken, who won with 53.06 percent, and who have been highly critical of the alliance with the conservatives.
Scholz said the party must now "stand behind the new leadership".
For the business-friendly FDP party, the shock result means that "Germany stands before new elections or a minority government".
The far-right AfD also predicted an end of the coalition, with its co-leader Joerg Meuthen forecasting that "it will break up".
Anxious to calm jitters, the general secretary of Merkel's CDU Paul Ziemiak came out to say that "the decision today has changed nothing" about the alliance-a message echoed by the CDU's Bavarian sister party CSU.
Wounded by an election rout in 2017, the SPD had initially sought to go into opposition, but allowed itself reluctantly to be coaxed into renewing an alliance with Merkel.
Many within the party however remained wary of continuing to govern in Merkel's shadow, and the coalition has lurched from crisis to crisis.
The SPD has also been battered by a series of regional and European election setbacks this year.
After voters handed the party its worst outcome in European elections in May, the party's then leader Andreas Nahles threw in the towel, triggering the leadership contest.
In an attempt to shake up its image, the SPD has turned to a new leadership format-a male-female duo for the first time since its founding in 1890 -- a model copied from the surging Greens.
In the latest opinion polls, the SPD, which came second in the 2017 federal election, is struggling for third place with the far-right AfD, behind the CDU and the Greens.

More News For this Category

More than 2,000 now infected with coronavirus; 56 dead in China

More than 2,000 now infected with coronavirus; 56 dead in China

Reuters :More than 2,000 people globally have been infected with a new coronavirus, the vast majority of them in China, where 56 people have died from the disease, according to

Coronavirus contagion rate makes it hard to control

Reuters :Each person infected with coronavirus is passing the disease on to between two and three other people on average at current transmission rates, according to two separate scientific analyses

US committed to Syria fight; missions up against IS: General

US committed to Syria fight; missions up against IS: General

AP, Green Village Military Outpost :U.S. troops at military outposts ín eastern Syria asked variations of the same question to their top commander Saturday: What is our future here? What

More than 100 people under observation in India

India TV News :As world goes through Coronavirus scare, more than 100 people in India have been put under observation to detect whether they are infected by the deadly virus

US vice police fired over Stormy Daniels strip-club arrest

US vice police fired over Stormy Daniels strip-club arrest

AFP, Washington  :Two US vice squad police officers were fired for wrongfully arresting porn star Stormy Daniels, who has claimed an affair with President Donald Trump, city officials in Columbus,

Thousands rally across Australia for 'Invasion Day' protests

Thousands rally across Australia for 'Invasion Day' protests

AFP, Melbourne :Thousands of people joined Invasion Day protests in cities across Australia Sunday to mark the beginning of British colonisation of the vast continent.January 26 is officially recognised as

News In Brief

30 killed, 17 missing in record Brazil rainstormsAFP, Belo HorizonteAt least 30 people have been killed in two days of intense storms in southeastern Brazil, the Minas Gerais state Civil

Virus attack worring China

Virus attack worring China

AP, China  :China's most festive holiday began in the shadow of a worrying new virus Saturday as the death toll surpassed 40, an unprecedented lockdown kept 36 million people from

Fighting for those who have ‘no voice’: Trump at anti-abortion rally

Fighting for those who have ‘no voice’: Trump at anti-abortion rally

US President Donald Trump addressed the country's biggest annual anti-abortion rally on Friday as members of the Senate sat in judgment just blocks away at his impeachment trial."Unborn children have

Trump unveils US Space Force logo, mocked for looking like star trek sign

Over the years, Star Trek has been responsible for inspiring real world innovations from tablet computers to needleless injection devices and real time translators.Now, the science fiction franchise appears to