Former European parliament president Martin Schulz has announced he will be resigning his post as chairman of the left-wing German Social Democrats (SPD) after massive internal struggles within the party.
Schulz announced his immediate resignation from the chairman position Tuesday afternoon after the SPD has been rocked by internal strife following last year’s election results, Der Spiegel reports.
The move comes less than a week after Schulz resigned from his appointment as Foreign Minister under the new so-called Grand Coalition government between the SPD, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU).
He had survived in the post just 36 hours.
Schulz has been plagued with criticism from within the SPD, especially the youth branch of the party who have been vehemently against a coalition deal with Merkel.
Under his reign as leader of the SPD, Schulz has seen the party support decrease dramatically with a recent poll, taken by the firm INSA, putting the social democrats only a single percentage point above the populist anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD).
Germany, INSA poll:
CDU/CSU-EPP: 29.5% (-1)
SPD-S&D: 16.5% (-0.5)
GRÜNE-G/EFA: 13% (+0.5)
LINKE-LEFT: 11.5% (+0.5)
FDP-ALDE: 10.5% (+0.5)
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) February 12, 2018
The AfD, set to become the official opposition to the grand coalition in the German parliament, has continued to score well in the polls with leaders Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel routinely slamming various aspects of the grand coalition deal including the policy of migrant family reunification.
In his resignation, Schulz gave his endorsement to parliamentary group leader Andrea Nahles for a leadership election that will take place on April 22nd.
The resignation of Schulz is a major blow to the stability of the already fragile grand coalition for Chancellor Angela Merkel, who failed to form a coalition government with the libertarian Free Democrats and the Green Party back in November.
This story is developing…