Berlin – German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to battle it out on Tuesday in a debate with her Social Democratic Party (SPD) challenger Martin Schulz on the last day of parliament before this month’s national election.
The end of parliament paves the way for the final crucial stage in the otherwise lackluster campaign for the Sept. 24 election.
Opinion polls show Schulz’s centre-left SPD trailing badly behind Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian-based sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU).
Tuesday’s speeches by Merkel and Schulz in the Bundestag come in the wake of Sunday night’s TV debate between the two main contenders for the chancellor’s job with opinion polls showing the chancellor having won the face-off in spite the SPD leader having scored several points at her expense.
The two leaders are to head off across the nation straight after their speeches in parliament for a slew of campaign events, with Schulz first set to field questions from four young popular video-bloggers on YouTube.