Germany’s coalition government could be in danger after a change of leadership in its junior partner.

Since 2017, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, known as the CDU, have ruled with the Social Democratic Party, or SPD. But the SPD’s new leaders, leftwingers Norbert Walter-Borjans and Saskia Esken, want to renegotiate that deal.

If Merkel does not meet their demands, they have threatened to withdraw and bring down the government, meaning Merkel, national leader since 2005, could leave the political stage slightly earlier than expected. She has already said she will not run for a fifth term as Chancellor in 2021.

Coalition partner threatens to bring down Merkel govt

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