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German SPD Members Back Coalition With Merkel

SPD leader Martin Schulz (file photo)

The members of Germany's left-leaning Social Democratic Party (SPD) have voted in favor of a new grand coalition under Christian Democrat (CDU) Chancellor Angela Merkel, the SPD announced from its Berlin headquarters on March 4 after a postal ballot.

The vote by 460,000 rank-and-file members ends about five months of political deadlock in the European Union's most-populous country.

Sixty-six percent of the Social Democratic Party's rank and file backed a new partnership with Merkel's conservatives.

The decision clears the last major hurdle to the formation of a new government and a fourth term for Merkel.

Merkel congratulated the Social Democrats (SPD) on a "clear result" on Twitter.

"I congratulate the SPD on this clear result and look forward to continuing to work together for the good of our country," Merkel wrote on March 4 on her Christian Democrats' (CDU) Twitter feed.

Parliament is expected to meet next week to elect Merkel as chancellor.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, dpa, and the BBC