February 7, 2018 / 4:53 PM / a year ago

Germany's Schulz to step down as Social Democrat leader: source

Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Martin Schulz reacts during a statement with Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Christian Social Union (CSU) leader Horst Seehofer after coalition talks to form a new coalition government in Berlin, Germany, February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Social Democrat (SPD) Martin Schulz told a meeting of senior members of his party that he would step down as SPD leader and be replaced by the party’s parliamentary leader Andrea Nahles, a participant in the meeting said.

Schulz told senior SPD members the party, which got its worst postwar result in September’s election, was in a tricky situation and would only be able to revamp itself with a new face at the top.

The participant said the changeover would take place after a postal ballot of the SPD’s 464,000 members who will have the chance to veto the coalition deal. That vote is due to take place from Feb 20 to March 2. A result is expected on March 4.

Schulz, 62, is expected to become foreign minister in a new coalition government with the conservatives.

Reporting by Holger Hansen; Writing by Michelle Martin, editing by Thomas Escritt

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