Germany’s ruling coalition is facing collapse after the new leader of the junior partner to Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) branded the parties’ long-standing arrangement “crap for democracy”. The leftist duo of Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans won a shock victory to take control of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) party on Saturday, defeating a centrist pair led by finance minister Olaf Scholz. Their victory in the membership poll will soon be formalised by party delegates. Speaking to broadcaster ARD, Ms Esken held her cards close to her chest on whether she intends to walk out on the coalition, something that would accelerate the end of Chancellor Merkel’s career. But she made clear that she saw the coalition as damaging her party and German democracy, with both parties having to make compromises that alienated supporters. “We’ve seen both big parties lose a lot due to the coalition, so we both have an interest in governing in other alliances,” Ms Esken said.
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