German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the government coalition will continue working in spite of the fact that Social Democratic Party’s leader Andrea Nahles has decided to step down, BBC reports.
«I would like to say on behalf of the government, we will continue the government’s work with all seriousness. We will above all do it with a great sense of responsibility,» Merkel said.
Angela Merkel said she respects Nahles’ «far reaching» decision.
Social Democratic Party’s leader stepped down when her centre-left party received third place in European Parliament Elections, falling behind Green Party and Merkel’s Christian Democrats. The party showed the worst results it has ever had in the last elections – 16%.
«The discussions within the parliamentary faction and feedback from within the party have shown me that I no longer have the necessary support to carry out my duties,» said Andrea Nahles, announcing her decision on 2 June.
Nahles was criticized by the party’s more left-sided representatives for remaining in the government coalition. Discussions regarding Nahles’ successor are estimated to start 4 June.
Nahles became the party’s leader in 2018, after its previous leader Martin Schulz stepped down due to poor results in parliamentary elections. It was expected the politician would stand candidate for the post of the party’s leader again.
Christian Democrats and Social Democrats will continue working in the coalition until 2021 elections. It is, allowed, however that with Nahles’s decision to step down her party may terminate cooperation with Merkel’s party.
BBC adds that if Social Democrats leave the coalition there will likely be new parliamentary elections. On Sunday, 2 June, Christian Democrats leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer warned Social Democrats against undermining the coalition’s stability.