Berlin: The leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel's junior coalition partner SPD said on Sunday she was resigning from her party chief job, raising the spectre that Germany's embattled government could collapse.
Andreas Nahles said in a statement:"The discussions in the parliamentary group and the broad feedback from the party showed me that the support necessary for the excercise of my offices is no longer there."
The coalition between Merkel's CDU party and the SPD has been fragile from the start.
The SPD, which was stung by a beating in 2017, at the time initially sought to go into opposition. But it was reluctantly coaxed into renewing a partnership with Merkel, even as many within the party remain wary of continuing to govern in her shadow.
Since then, its ratings have been in free-fall, with the latest poll showing just 12 per cent of support, while backing for the opposition Greens has surged.
Last Sunday, it also suffered a drubbing at European elections, with German voters handing it its worst result in history.