SPD leader and Merkel coalition partner, Nahles to resign

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Angela-Markel

Andrea Nahles has announced she will resign as leader of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD).

It comes after the centre-left party came third, behind the Greens and Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), in the European elections.

Nahles had been heavily criticised by the SPD’s left for remaining in coalition with Merkel’s party.

CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer warned the SPD not to endanger the coalition government.

Nahles said she would quit as party leader today, and as head of its parliamentary group on Tuesday.

In a statement released by the SPD on Sunday she said the discussions within the parliamentary faction and feedback from within the party have shown her that she no longer has the necessary support to carry out her duties.”

She had earlier announced that the leadership contest would take place on Tuesday.

Her resignation comes as a surprise. She became party leader in April last year, and was expected to run for the position again.

In last week’s European Union parliamentary elections, her party hit an all-time low, getting less than 16% of the vote.