Germany's SPD endorses Schulz as leader and Merkel challenger

By Michelle Martin BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) on Sunday formally endorsed former European Parliament President Martin Schulz as their leader and challenger to Chancellor Angela Merkel in what is set to be a tightly contested national election in September. The SPD has undergone a revival since nominating Schulz in late January, gaining around 10 points in opinion polls and signing up thousands of new members as the 61-year-old focuses his campaign on social justice. “The SPD is back! We’re back!” Schulz told around 600 delegates at a party meeting in Berlin shortly before he was chosen as SPD leader in a vote in which all 605 of the valid votes gave him a ‘yes’.

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