BERLIN (Reuters) - The secretary general of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), Peter Tauber, is giving up his job after a period of illness, party sources said on Sunday.
Tauber took no part in coalition negotiations with the Social Democrats (SPD) this year and wanted to clear the way for a new secretary general to be elected at a CDU party congress on Feb. 26, the sources said.
By freeing up the role, Tauber gives Merkel another option as she seeks to allocate top jobs to competing factions in the CDU.
Many members of the conservative party are unhappy she conceded the powerful finance ministry to the SPD in a deal struck this month with a re-run of the “grand coalition” of the two parties that has been in power since 2013.
Before the new government can take office, the SPD’s 464,000 members must vote on whether the party should proceed with the coalition.
The ballot begins on Tuesday and will run through to March 2. The result, due to be announced on March 4, is wide open.
Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Edmund Blair