February 9, 2018 / 1:32 PM / 6 months ago

German SPD leader Schulz confirms will not take ministerial job

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz confirmed on Friday he would not take up the position of foreign minister or serve in the next government, seeking to end a party row over his role and shore up members’ support for a new ‘grand coalition’.

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/Hannibal Hanschke

In a statement, Schulz said he believed that debate within the SPD risked jeopardizing a ‘yes’ vote among members on whether the party should go ahead with a coalition deal with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, reached on Wednesday.

“I hereby declare my renunciation of joining the federal government and at the same time sincerely hope that this will end the personnel debates within the SPD,” he said.

Reporting by Hans-Edzard Busemann; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Michelle Martin

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