Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partners threatened to abandon her governing coalition on Sunday, blaming bitter infighting in Berlin for huge losses suffered by both the German chancellor’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the center-left in a regional election, AFP reported.
“The state of the government is unacceptable,” Social Democratic Party (SPD) General Secretary Andrea Nahles told reporters in Berlin.
After leaders reluctantly agreed to a third right-left coalition earlier this year, the fourth Merkel government has experienced one crisis after another, almost collapsing twice over the summer in fights over relatively minor issues.
On Sunday, Merkel’s CDU suffered a harsh 10-point blow from voters in Hesse state, garnering 28% of the vote according to an exit poll conducted by the broadcaster ARD.
However, the SPD, Merkel’s reluctant partners in Berlin, did even worse, losing nearly 11 points, bringing it to a historical low of 20%.
It was the latest in a series of setbacks for the SPD, the EU powerhouse’s oldest political party, with many members attributing its decline to repeated alliances with Merkel.