Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) on February 12 reportedly signalled that they could quit their coalition with Angela Merkel's conservatives if she is forced out as chancellor. According to international media reports, SPD General-Secretary Lars Klingbeil said that the party entered the coalition with Merkel and will leave the coalition with her. The announcement has also piled pressure on their partners to avoid a snap election as they pick a new leader.
According to reports, the coalition has already come close to collapse several times and the selection last year of two leftists as possible new SPD leaders has further left the alliance even shakier. Further, Merkel's protegee Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer also gave up her ambitions for the top job and the Christian Democrats (CDU) are now embarking on choosing a new leader and chancellor candidate for the next federal election due by October 2021. the possibility of having a rival as party leader while she remains chancellor may also be unworkable and force Merkle to stand down early.
Merkel will also not seek re-election after leading Europe's biggest economy for around 15 years. According to reports, many lawmakers further also want to avoid the upheaval of an election during Germany's tenure of the rotating presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. The SPD also wants to stay in government with the conservative for the full legislative term and it is even ready to fight an election at any time.
However, SPD may find it impossible to work with at least two of the potential conservative candidates who are further to the right of the CDU than Merkel. On the other hand, Kramp-Karrenbauer reportedly threw the CDU and Merkel's plan for a smooth transition of power into turmoil which followed months of mounting doubts about her suitability for the top job.