Trio to provisionally lead Germany′s Social Democrats | News | DW | 03.06.2019

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Trio to provisionally lead Germany's Social Democrats

Three SPD politicians, including two state premiers, are set to provisionally lead the party after Andrea Nahles announced her resignation. When the party will elect a new leader will be determined later this month.

Manuela Schwesig, Malu Dreyer and Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, the three vice presidents of Germany's center-left Social Democrats (SPD), are set to lead the party on an interim basis until a successor to Andrea Nahles as party leader is elected.

Schwesig and Dreyer are the state premiers in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Rhineland-Palatinate respectively, while Schäfer-Gümbel is the leader of the opposition SPD faction in the Hesse state parliament.

Read more: German press mulls resignation of SPD chief Andrea Nahles

The SPD is not due to elect a new party leader until December's party conference. A decision on moving up the date for the vote is expected to occur when the party's executive board meets in three weeks time.

Not candidates for party leadership

At a press conference in Berlin on Monday, all three SPD politicians ruled themselves out of the running for party leadership. The three maintained that they are focus instead on leading a party transition until a new head is elected.

"We have all ruled out being candidates for party leader," Schwesig said.

Schwesig added that her place is as the premier of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Similarly, Dreyer said it had long been her intention to run for re-election as the state premier for Rhineland-Palatinate. 

Meanwhile, Schäfer-Gümbel intends to leave politics in the fall to take a position at Germany's Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).

Nahles announced her resignation as SPD leader on Sunday, saying she wanted to give the party a chance to elect a new leader in an orderly way after a disastrous showing in the European elections. Her successor could prove crucial to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) are in a coalition with the SPD.

The Social Democrats came in third in the recent EU elections behind CDU and the environmentalist Green party. The SPD fared even worse in a recent Forsa poll, which showed an all-time national low in support at 12%.

dv/ng (dpa, Reuters)

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