Germany’s Social Democrats plan to establish a cutoff date after which new members won’t be able to participate in a crucial upcoming vote on whether to join a new government, party officials said Wednesday. The move reflect growing annoyance among the party leadership about efforts by its youth wing to recruit new, short-term members in a bid to scuttle a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Union bloc. The Young Socialists and the left wing of the party launched the campaign Monday offering two months’ membership for 10 euros ($12.25) and expressly urged new recruits to oppose a possible renewal of the “grand coalition.”
The party registered 1,700 news members within the first day of the membership drive, according to German news agency dpa.
Deputy Social Democratic leader Thorsten Schaefer-Guembel slammed the campaign Wednesday, saying “whoever lets it be known that he’s transferring 10 euros and then will leave the party has no interest in social democracy.”