Germany’s junior governing party set to announce new leaders

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s junior governing party is set to announce the results of a ballot on its new leadership. Its outcome could help determine whether the center-left Social Democrats stay in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

The Social Democrats have been without an elected leader since Andrea Nahles quit in frustration nearly six months ago. The party decided to ask its 426,000-strong membership who should take on the task of pulling it out of a lengthy poll slump.

On Saturday it will announce who won a runoff ballot between two would-be leadership duos.

Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz and partner Klara Geywitz favor staying in the “grand coalition” led by the center-right Merkel. Rivals Norbert Walter-Borjans and Saskia Esken have sounded much more skeptical and advocated changes to the coalition agreement.

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