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Merkel Coalition Party Leader Quits, Rattling Ruling Bloc

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The leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partner stepped down in a surprise move that puts into question the survival of the government itself.

Andrea Nahles, head of the Social Democratic Party, said she will resign as chief and parliamentary caucus leader after losing the rank and file’s backing. The party suffered a devastating defeat in the European Parliament elections last week. “The necessary support for exercising my duties is no longer there,” she said in an emailed statement.