September 25, 2017 / 8:38 AM / 2 years ago

SPD vows to defend German democracy in opposition after vote

Social Democratic Party SPD leader and top candidate Martin Schulz gives a statement to the media at the party headquarters in Berlin, Germany, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) have a duty to go into opposition and defend the country’s democratic values after its support fell to a post-war low and the far-right AfD party surged in an election, leader Martin Schulz said on Monday

“We have understood our task - to be a strong opposition in this country and to defend democracy against those who question it and attack it,” Schulz told party members to applause at SPD headquarters in Berlin.

Some conservatives and other parties criticised the SPD, previously in a ‘grand coalition’ with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, for saying it would go into opposition only minutes after exit polls were released on Sunday.

Reporting by Madeline Chambers, editing by Emma Thomasson

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