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German SPD Leader Seeks to Stifle Chancellor-Candidate Debate

  • Nahles comments after Scholz says he is capabale of ruling
  • SPD needs to reverse decline or Merkel coalition may fall
Andrea Nahles
Andrea NahlesPhotographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

The leader of Germany’s Social Democrats sought to smother debate about who will run as the party’s candidate for chancellor at the next general election, saying it’s too early to decide with the vote not due until late 2021.

SPD Chairwoman Andrea Nahles made her comments as the party’s parliamentary caucus begins a two-day meeting in Berlin to discuss how to reverse a collapse in support that threatens their coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. If the SPD does not manage to improve on recent results in this year’s European and regional elections, it could pull the plug on Merkel’s government and trigger an early national vote.