September 2, 2019 / 12:57 PM / a month ago

German SPD shouldn't flee responsibility after losses in state votes - official

BERLIN, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) should not flee responsibility, a senior party official said on Monday, after the party suffered losses in two state elections held on Sunday.

Both the SPD and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives - which rule in a national coalition - bled support to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the state votes in eastern Germany.

Asked what the results meant for the national coalition and whether that alliance was jeopardised by the AfD’s strong gains, SPD Secretary General Lars Klingbeil said the way to limit the AfD’s success was to “pursue good policies, ensure the government’s ability to act, take care of social cohesion and fulfill what people expect from political leadership, not by fleeing responsibility.”

Reporting by Michelle Martin and Tassilo Hummel Editing by Paul Carrel

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