The leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partner, Sigmar Gabriel, does not plan to step down as leader of the Social Democrats (SPD) this week, deputy party chairman Ralf Stegner said on Sunday.
He was responding to rumors in German media after Helmut Markwort, co-publisher of German magazine Focus, told a German television program that Gabriel planned to step down this week.
“Mr Markwort has presumably had too much sun in Munich,” Stegner told Reuters.
Gabriel who is Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister, canceled a trip to Iran last week due to illness. The SPD had a weak showing in recent regional elections. An opinion poll for Bild am Sonntag put support for the party on 22 percent.
(Reporting by Holger Hansen; Writing by Caroline Copley; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
Source: Reuters world