Germany’s Social Democratic Party in the state of Hesse has suffered a blow at the hands of some of its own members.
SPD leader Andrea Ypsilanti had been working on a coalition of parties to back her bid for state premiership, but four of her colleagues have refused their support.
The reason was that along with the “Greens”, she wanted to bring on board the far left or “die linke” – a party which many within the SPD accuse of being full of ex-communists.
Ypsilanti’s decision to seek the backing of the far left was not only controversial within the SPD in Hesse but had sparked a nationwide debate.
National SPD Chairman Franz Muentefering criticised Ypsilant’s colleagues while at the same time distancing himself from the proposed far-left alliance.
It now means that caretaker Hesse premier, the Christian Democrat, Roland Koch will continue in the job. The state of Hesse, which is home to Germany’s financial centre of Frankfurt, was being seen as a test case for the SPD’s future direction and it’s readiness to court far-left support in any possible horse trading after next year’s general elections.