A German newspaper managed to register a dog as a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Lima had received a ballot asking her to vote on the SPD's coalition deal with Angela Merkel's conservatives.

Bitch Lima (calculated in dog years, 21) has been admitted to the SPD, so she can take part in the party's vote to decide whether the SPD should be part of a coalition government.
Bitch Lima (calculated in dog years, 21) has been admitted to the SPD, so she can take part in the party's vote to decide whether the SPD should be part of a coalition government. ()

Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) were forced on Tuesday to declare that a three-year-old dog called Lima would not be allowed to vote with party members on a coalition deal with Angela Merkel's conservatives, despite joining the party.

The top selling Bild daily splashed a photo of a floppy eared, brown and white dog wearing a red scarf, the SPD's colour, on Tuesday under the headline: 

"Dear Lima, welcome to the SPD." 

The red writing above the headline read: "This dog can vote on the grand coalition."

Bild reported how Lima had received a party card after the newspaper made an application on the dog's behalf to become a party member on February 6. Personal details on the application included her gender and put her occupation as unemployed and her age at 21, in dog years.

"It is not about the dog Lima, but rather about how we at Bild proved how prone to falsification the SPD members' vote is," a spokesman for Bild wrote in an emailed statement. 

"People who wish to manipulate the vote on a 'grand coalition' through criminality could do just the same."

Lima received a ballot asking her to vote on the SPD's coalition agreement with Angela Merkel's conservatives.

All party members are entitled to vote in the postal ballot which started on Tuesday and ends on March 2 on a coalition pact for Europe's biggest economy which could decide the future of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

If SPD members reject the deal, the SPD will not be able to share power with the conservatives and either a new election or minority government is likely.

Andrea Nahles, expected to be chosen as SPD leader in April, was forced to respond to the question posed by Bild about whether manipulation of the vote was possible.

"A dog can't vote," Andrea Nahles said, saying the party would look into legal steps if there had been deception over a party member's identity.

“This is an attempt to make a farce out of strong internal party democracy, which other parties could use themselves,” SPD vice chairman Ralf Stegner said on Twitter.

It was not a good day for the SPD, however. In addition to the embarrassing debacle with Lima, the results of a newly released opinion poll show that the party has fallen behind the right-wing, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AFD).

Bild newspaper sells some 1.7 million newspapers every day, making it Germany's largest circulating newspaper.

Source: Reuters