Published: 02 August 2017 Wednesday, 05:36 AM
Bonn, 2 August (deutschenews24.de/dpa)- Germany`s Social Democrats (SPD) will challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel`s Christian Democrats (CDU) by launching a 24-million-euro (28-million-dollar) election campaign that will include a Germany tour by party leader Martin Schulz, officials said Tuesday.
The SPD, which is currently lagging between 14 and 18 percentage points behind Merkel`s ruling conservatives, will send Schulz on a 20,000-kilometre, 60-location tour of Germany in August and September, secretary general Hubertus Heil said.
The party will also distribute a series of election posters as part of its campaign that will promote some of its core issues - family, equal pay and free education - Heil said on Tuesday as party officials presented their campaign strategy.
The SPD gained about 10 percentage points in the polls earlier this year when Schulz took over from the unpopular Sigmar Gabriel, but the euphoria surrounding a potential resurgence quickly fizzled out.
Heil expressed confidence despite the SPD`s polling figures, saying that "it is the final sprint that counts - and we are well prepared for that."
Merkel is running for a fourth term in office in the September 24 poll, which is also likely to grant the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) seats in the Bundestag parliament for the first time.