German SPD leader bows to party criticism, says won't be foreign minister

German industry

German industry

Merkel, who will secure a fourth term as chancellor if the coalition deal holds, has also come under fire from some in her own camp who say she has made too many concessions to the SPD, including handing it control of the powerful finance ministry.

Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) chairman Martin Schulz announced on Friday that he would not pursue ministerial post in the next German government, including the foreign minister.

Many in the SPD fear that re-entering a coalition with Mrs Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Bavarian CSU could damage the party in the long term.

Martin Schulz was attempting to placate mounting anger in the center-left SPD about his leadership and boost the likelihood that the party's roughly 470,000 members would endorse the alliance struck this week with Ms. Merkel's conservatives.

Her appointment comes 18 years after the SPD's regular political rivals, the conservative Christian Democrats, elected its first female leader: Angela Merkel.

An SPD member since she was 18, Nahles is credited with helping to swing her divided party behind agreeing to take up the coalition talks with a passionate speech at a special party conference in January.

Many grassroots members of the centre-left party are sceptical about another tie-up with the conservatives after serving in a similar coalition in 2013-17.

Hong Kong appeal court frees three democracy leaders
But they warned that similar protests in the future would be treated as acts of violence under new criteria. Mabel Au, director of Amnesty International Hong Kong , said the court had corrected an injustice.

Mr Schulz said the success of the membership ballot was endangered by the discussion about his future, "so I am hereby declaring that I will not enter the government and fervently hope that this ends the personnel debates inside the Social Democratic Party".

He reversed that position under pressure in November after Merkel's talks with the Greens and Free Democrats to form a multi-party government collapsed in acrimony.

Gabriel said Germans appear to think he has been successful "and it's clear I regret that the new Social Democrat leadership didn't care about this public appreciation of my work".

Mr Joffe added the election last year was a "popular vote of no-confidence" after losing supporters to the Alternative for Germany (AfD) following years of political turmoil after Europe's migration crisis in 2015, insisting it is now a "cosmic joke" the two parties are joining forces. He told broadcaster SWR that he expected a minority government to take charge in Germany, at least for a few months, if SPD members heeded his call.

The move drew criticism from SPD members, who believed their party should reinvent itself in opposition.

Merkel faced an uphill struggle to maintain power for another four years following a disastrous election campaign.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.