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SPD in eastern German state votes against coalition with Merkel

Europe
13.01.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Wernigerode, Germany (dpa) - Social Democrats in the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt have rejected the possibility of the centre-left party entering a new coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s conservatives.

The vote at a state party convention comes a day after the chancellor and the SPD leadership agreed to begin formal coalition talks, which would see the 63-year-old Merkel return to power for a fourth term.

But the deal to resurrect a "grand coalition" between Germany‘s two main parties must still be approved by SPD members at a party congress in Bonn on January 21 before the official talks can begin.

Merkel is aiming to form a new government by April.

Saxony-Anhalt, a state in which the SPD has not traditionally had strong support, will only send six of the 600 delegates to the Bonn congress.

At the party convention on Saturday in Wernigerode, members voted in favour of a proposal by Jusos, the SPD‘s youth wing, that demanded there be no rerun of the grand coalition.

The SPD governed with Merkel‘s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and her Bavarian-based allies the Christian Social Union (CSU) twice before.

Jusos sees a repeat grand coalition as political suicide for the SPD, which has haemorrhaged support in recent elections.

 

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