Germany's Angela Merkel Says Will Step Down As Chancellor In 2021

Germany's Angela Merkel Says Will Step Down As Chancellor In 2021

Germany's Angela Merkel Says Will Step Down As Chancellor In 2021

It had been widely assumed that this would be Mrs Merkel's final term as chancellor, but before the remarks reported by the dpa news agency she had not offered any confirmation.

Germany's Angela Merkel will not run for re-election as leader of her centre-right CDU, sources said Monday, in the clearest sign yet that the veteran chancellor is preparing her eventual exit after voters again punished her fragile coalition in a regional poll.

Merkel has been chairwoman of the CDU since 2000 and her stepping down from the role would start a race for her successor within the party.

Political analysts in Germany have wondered whether Merkel might not serve out a full term if she's not leading her own party - a pairing that Merkel herself has said is crucial to being an effective chancellor.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats have suffered huge losses on Sunday in regional elections in the central German state of Hesse.

Merkel now governs Germany in a "grand coalition" of what traditionally have been the country's biggest parties - the CDU, its Bavaria-only sister, the Christian Social Union, and the Social Democrats.

The Social Democrats only reluctantly entered Merkel's fourth-term national government in March, and many are dismayed by what has happened since.

This position has allowed the so-called grand coalition which presently rules Germany, an alliance between the main centre-right CDU and main centre-left SPD, from parties which should, in theory, be opposed on government but are united in keeping other voices out of power.

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Born in Hamburg in July 1954, Angela Merkel began her political career by joining the communist leaning youth movement Free German Youth.

Merkel has been in a hard position since September 2017, when a national election left her party without an overall majority.

The debacle followed a battering in a state election in Bavaria two weeks ago for the CSU and the Social Democrats.

In Bavarian elections on October 15, Merkel's coalition partner the CSU lost its majority in the regional parliament for the first time since 1957.

Volker Bouffier, the incumbent CDU state premier in Hesse and a Merkel ally, said his party had achieved its goal of being able to lead the next government in Hesse, but added: "We are in pain because of the losses".

A new CDU chair will be elected at the upcoming party conference in December, Deutsche Welle said.

In 2015, Germany accepted more than one million refugees under circumstances the Chancellor described as "extraordinary".

The Social Democrats' leader, Andrea Nahles, on Sunday demanded a "clear, binding timetable" for implementing government projects before the federal coalition faces an already-agreed upon midterm review next fall.

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