Merkel seeks to rally party behind her over coalition deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is urging her party to sign off on a deal to form a new coalition government with the center-left Social Democrats.

Merkel told a party convention Monday that Germany is in a "difficult and previously unknown situation" without a new government five months after the election.

She acknowledged the Christian Democratic Union's disappointing result in last September's election, but insisted it had managed to make a strong mark in the agreement for a 'grand coalition' with the Social Democrats, citing financial aid for families and strengthening of law and order measures.

While discontent over Merkel's centrist course has grown within the party, members are expected to approve the deal. It still needs the approval of Social Democrats' members, expected by March 4.