Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
here's Fran's post from my diary:

From Spiegel Online: German Social Democrat Head Franz Müntefering Abruptly Resigns

Six weeks after general elections and still without a government, Germany's political landscape became even more chaotic on Monday. Franz Müntefering, head of Germany's second largest political party, the Social Democrats, stepped down on Monday after losing an inner-party battle. The future of the party is now uncertain.

Germany's long and stony road from general elections to functioning government took another hairpin turn on Monday.

With coalition negotiations between the Christian Democrats (CDU) under Angela Merkel and the Social Democrats (SPD) under Franz Müntefering scheduled to enter their fourth round on Monday evening in Berlin, the SPD head announced that he would not seek re-election as party leader in November. Even worse for the SPD, Müntefering -- tapped to be Germany's vice chancellor and labor minister in a grand coalition under soon-to-be-chancellor Merkel -- said he is leaving his participation in Merkel's cabinet open.

"Under the current conditions," Müntefering said, "I can no longer be party chairman."

The "conditions" Müntefering was referring to was a vote by the party leadership earlier in the day for the position of party general secretary. Whereas Müntefering had favored Kajo Wasserhövel for the post, the 45-member leadership circle instead chose 35-year-old Andrea Nahles. Traditionally the party chairman expects his choice to be voted in. Nahles is a leading figure among the left wing of the SPD and a vocal critic of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's reform package Agenda 2010. Indeed, Schröder himself had participated in the debate leading up to the vote and had urged his fellow party members to do nothing to damage Müntefering's authority, given the ongoing coalition negotiations.

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Mon Oct 31st, 2005 at 03:18:39 PM EST

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