Germany: Merkel party pulls candidate over 'like' for rivals

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party has withdrawn a candidate to be a minister in a state government after he reportedly "liked" an anti-migration party's Facebook page.

Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union was pushed into third place in an election last month in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania by the nationalist Alternative for Germany. That party opposes Merkel's welcoming approach to refugees and harshly criticizes the chancellor.

Merkel's party decided to stay in the state government as the center-left Social Democrats' junior partner.

The Christian Democratic Union planned to make Sascha Ott, a public prosecutor, the state's new justice minister. But regional leader Lorenz Caffier said Saturday that Ott was replaced because of his "careless use of social media."

The Schweriner Volkszeitung newspaper reported he had "liked" the nationalists' local page on Facebook.