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    Martin Schulz, top candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) for the upcoming federal election, gives a speech during an election rally in Hamburg, Germany, August 31, 2017

    German SDP Vows to 'Defend Democracy' in Opposition After Heavy Election Defeat

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    General Election in Germany 2017 (40)
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    Martin Schulz, the leader of Germany's Social Democratic Party has vowed to defend the country's democratic values by being an effective opposition the government, following a surge in support for the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in parliamentary elections on Sunday.

    Germany's Social Democratic Party won't take part in another grand coalition and will instead "defend democracy" by being in opposition to the government, SDP leader Martin Schulz said after the party suffered a heavy defeat in Sunday's national elections.

    "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," he told party members at their Berlin headquarters.

    The main parties were the biggest losers in Sunday's elections, with the SPD's vote share decreasing by 5.2% to 20.5% and the vote share of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) down 8.6% in comparison with 2013.

    The biggest winners were the right-wing Alternative for Germany, which took 12.6% of the vote, and the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), which came fourth with 10.7% of the vote.

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    General Election in Germany 2017 (40)

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    defeat, election, Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), German Bundestag, Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), Martin Schulz, Germany
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