Close ally of Germany's Merkel quits over plagiarism scandal

BERLIN, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Germany's education minister will resign on Saturday after being stripped of her doctorate over plagiarism charges, sources from the ruling coalition said, an embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel as she campaigns to win a third term in office.

Merkel and her close ally Annette Schavan were due to hold a joint news conference at 1300 GMT and the sources said they would announce the resignation then.

The move comes four days after the University of Duesseldorf ruled Schavan had "systematically and intentionally" copied parts of her thesis from others and withdrew her Ph.D, granted more than 30 years ago.

Schavan has said she will take legal action against the university's decision to strip her of her degree. (Reporting by Berlin bureau, writing by Annika Breidthardt; Editing by Andrew Heavens)