BERLIN /February 13, 2018(AP)(STL.News) — Germany’s Social Democrats have chosen deputy leader and Hamburg mayor Olaf Scholz as the new interim head of the party until a permanent chairman can be elected in April.
The move follows leader Martin Schulz‘s announcement Tuesday that he was stepping down from the position with hopes of putting an end to turmoil at the top of the center-left party.
The party leadership also nominated parliamentary caucus leader Andrea Nahles as its candidate for Schulz’s permanent replacement, to stand in a vote at a special party congress on April 22. Scholz is also supporting Nahles.
The Social Democrats’ leadership issue has been a major distraction ahead of a party vote to approve a new coalition government agreement with Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s conservative bloc.