Germany's SPD approve new coalition with Merkel: Media

File photo of Angela Merkel. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Berlin, Germany Mar 04, 2018, 08.51 AM (IST)

The members of Germany's second-biggest party have in their high-stakes referendum approved a plan to join Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition, German media reported Sunday.

Quoting unnamed party sources, German public broadcaster ZDF and Bild daily said the Social Democratic Party's rank and file voted "yes" to a new partnership with Merkel's conservatives.

The party's leadership is due to announce the results shortly.

The make or break vote was the last hurdle in the way of Merkel's fourth term in office and essentially ends a political stalemate that has plagued the country since September's inconclusive elections.

Stung by their worst post-war results, the SPD had initially ruled out another four years under Merkel's shadow. 

But after Merkel's attempt to cobble together a government with two smaller parties failed, the SPD relented while promising its more than 460,000 members the final say on any coalition deal.