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SPD will decide approach to coalition in late June: caretaker leader

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) will discuss at a leadership meeting at the end of June how to proceed regarding their governing coalition with conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of the party’s three caretaker leaders said.

Much of the membership of the party, whose leader Andrea Nahles has stepped down, wants the SPD to quit the coalition, but Malu Dreyer, premier of Rhineland-Palatinate, said the party would stick to its commitment to govern until a review in autumn on whether to continue.

“Our members voted to enter the coalition, and we stick to our agreement. The coalition agreement has a revision clause,” she said. “So we will discuss on 24 June what projects are important to us and how we should apply the review clause.”

The caretaker process means that the party will not be able to elect a new leader before October, meaning it will be rudderless through three crucial regional elections in eastern Germany at which it was already forecast to do badly.

Reporting by Paul Carrel; Writing by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Michelle Martin