Germany's SPD will announce its ministers next week


FILE PHOTO: Social Democratic Party (SPD) top candidate for chancellor Olaf Scholz delivers a statement after a final round of coalition talks to form a new government, in Berlin, Germany, November 24, 2021. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's chancellor-in-waiting Olaf Scholz said on Monday his Social Democrats (SPD) would wait for a party congress this weekend to approve a coalition deal with the Greens and Free Democrats before announcing the assignation of cabinet posts.

The centre-left party is due to sign off on the deal, under which it gets seven out of 16 ministerial positions including defense, labour, health and interior, at a congress on Saturday.

"We will say next week who the men and women are who will implement (the coalition deal) for us and Germany," Scholz, who will take over from conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, said in an online party forum.

With Germany hitting new record high COVID-19 weekly incidences day after day, some political leaders are calling for the SPD to already announce who will take over the health ministry from conservative Jens Spahn.

The incoming coalition has faced criticism from some virologists and opposition politicians for not doing more to curb contagion during this transition period.

The three parties passed a law this month requiring people to provide proof of vaccination, a negative test or recovery to go to work or use public transport, among other measures, but chose to let a state of emergency expire.

Disagreements have emerged in recent days between the parties on how to go about tackling Germany's fourth wave.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Richard Chang)

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