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FDP in tatters as state government falls

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FDP in tatters as state government falls
Photo: DPA
14:45 CET+01:00
Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition partner the Free Democratic Party (FDP) was dealt another devastating blow on Friday as the government in the small western state of Saarland collapsed.

Saarland's state premier Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced on Friday that she is dissolving the state's three-way coalition, between her Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens.

The collapse was caused by an ongoing internal strife within the local FDP, which has fatally undermined her government's stability. The move means she is effectively turfing the FDP out of her cabinet.

“The ongoing quarrels in the FDP's parliamentary faction and the Saarland FDP can for State Premier Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer no longer be squared with the future security of the state,” a statement from her office said.

The state is only two years into its legislative period, and Kramp-Karrenbauer has only been in office since August last year, when she replaced previous state premier Peter Müller.

The coalition between the CDU, the FDP and the Greens is often called “Jamaica” in Germany, as the parties' respective colours match the Jamaican flag – black, yellow and green. When this coalition was formed in 2009, it was the first of its kind on a state level in Germany.

But the local FDP was dealt a blow in December when its parliamentary leader defected to the CDU. The party has yet to find a new leader, despite a number of crisis summits.

The CDU is now expected to try to form a grand coalition with the centre-left Social Democratic Party.

The coalition's collapse could hardly come at a worse time for the floundering FDP, currently at its lowest ever national poll ratings. The latest polls put the FDP at two percent – in sixth place behind the Pirate Party.

DAPD/DPA/The Local/bk

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