Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said her coalition government will continue despite the surprise resignation of the leader of its junior partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
Merkel said she respected the “far-reaching” decision by Andrea Nahles.
Nahles resigned after her centre-left party came third, behind Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Greens, in the European elections, the BBC reported.
She had been criticised by the SPD’s left for remaining in the coalition.
Nahles became SPD leader in April 2018, replacing Martin Schulz who also resigned following the party’s poor performance in elections. She was expected to run for the position again and her resignation took analysts by surprise.
The coalition between the CDU and the SPD is due to last until federal elections in 2021, but correspondents say Nahles’s resignation could lead to the SPD leaving, triggering a snap poll.
“Andrea Nahles has made a far-reaching decision both for herself personally as well as for the Social Democratic Party of Germany,” Merkel told reporters on Sunday.
“I would like to say on behalf of the government, we will continue the government’s work with all seriousness. We will above all do it with a great sense of responsibility.”