M�ntefering to Step Down as SPD Leader | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 31.10.2005
What a mess! The German Social Democratic Party SPD today managed to throw itself into what might well be the worst crisis in the post-war history of the party.
It was the much too successful revolt of the left wing of the SPD against party Chairman and potential Deputy Chancellor Franz Muentefering that caused the entire thing.
Faced with a devastating defeat when the party central board voted with 23 votes against 14 against his candidate for Secretary-General of the SPD in favour of the standard-bearer of the leftist faction, Muentefering declared that he could not remain as Chairman of the party.
What will come out of this is a anyones guess at the moment. Berlin hasn't recovered from the initial chock as of yet. And the SPD seems to be in outright turmoil. A commentator noted that not even the Greens in their most chaotic days were ever in such a profound disarray...
In principle, the coalition talks between CDU/CSU and the SPD continue. But that's in principle. It's exceedingly difficult to form a coalition with one of the pillars of that coalition in profound disarray. In pratical terms it's unlikely to work.
Within a couple of weeks the SPD seems to be losing most of the leadership capabilities it once had, only to descend into a state of confusion and disarray.
This isn't good for anyone. I'm not the one to cry too much for Social Democrats in trouble, but there ought to be a limit to everything.
Ëurope needs a stable and forward-looking Germany.
But today the leftwing of the SPD has throw everything in doubt.
There will be drama in the days ahead.