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Germany’s Social Democratic Party to elect a new candidate for the chancellorship


Germany’s Social Democratic Party to elect a new candidate for the chancellorship

Photo: Matthew Field/Wikimedia Commons

Today, Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) will hold a virtual party conference to nominate a candidate for chancellor.
The meeting comes ahead of federal elections slated for September. In October 2018, Chancellor Angela Merkel of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) announced that she would not seek a fifth term as chief executive. Both the CDU and the center-left Greens have already announced candidates: Armin Laschet and Annalena Baerbock, respectively.

Expect the SPD to confirm former finance minister and CDU-CSU vice-chancellor Olaf Scholz as their candidate. Scholz has pushed Germany to take more left-wing positions on key foreign policy issues—calling for a reduction in NATO payments and the removal of US nuclear weapons from the western part of the country.

Regardless of who wins what is expected to be a close contest in September, Merkel’s successor will play a prominent role in shaping Germany’s future. As the Greens have led in two of the last three national opinion polls and appear to be the most favored party at the moment, expect Scholz and the SPD to begin targeting the Greens as the election draws closer. This would likely consist of criticisms of the party’s increasingly centrist moves on issues such as investing in green infrastructure and European integration.

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