Angela Merkel 'To Step Down From Christian Democrat Party In December'

Angela Merkel 'To Step Down From Christian Democrat Party In December'

Angela Merkel 'To Step Down From Christian Democrat Party In December'

Angela Merkel has reportedly told leaders of her conservative party that this will be her final parliamentary term as Germany's chancellor.

Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union may have come out on top in the Hesse state election on Sunday but the result - the party's lowest in over 50 years - is a major electoral blow that could precipitate the German Chancellor's departure.

With her authority badly weakened by last September's inconclusive general election and ongoing squabbles in her unhappy coalition, the chancellor has faced mounting calls to prepare Germany for the post-Merkel era.

The results of the October elections in Bavaria and Hesse will be seen as a bellwether for the entire nation. Like Merkel, Kramp-Karrenbauer belongs to the liberal wing of the CDU, but she holds more conservative positions on topics like migration and gay marriage.

Merkel's sinking popularity began in 2015 when her "open door policy" on immigration permitted over 1 million migrants and refugees, predominantly from the Islamic world, to enter the country.

Merkel now governs Germany in a "grand coalition" of what traditionally have been the country's biggest parties - the CDU, Bavaria's CSU, and the Social Democrats. "Secondly, this fourth term is my last as German chancellor - at the federal election in 2021, I will not stand again as chancellor candidate".

Merkel has chaired the CDU for 18 years and has until now insisted that the presidency of the party went hand in hand with the chancellorship post. He governs Schleswig-Holstein in a three-way coalition with the pro-business Free Democratic Party and the environmental Greens-a model that Merkel tried and failed to set up at the federal level past year after the FDP withdrew.

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Merkel has dragged the CDU to the political center in her years as leader, dropping military conscription, introducing benefits encouraging fathers to look after their young children, and abruptly accelerating the shutdown of Germany's nuclear power plants following Japan's Fukushima disaster in 2011.

The move will likely fire the starting gun within the party to potentially succeed Ms Merkel as chancellor.

SPD chief Andrea Nahles said her centre-left party, Germany's oldest, had failed "to break free from the government" and carve out a clear profile of its own after serving in multiple, compromise-laden "grand coalitions".

During a press conference Monday in Berlin, Merkel announced she will not be seeking reelection as leader of Germany's Christian Democratic Party.

Merkel said she wouldn't interfere in the choice of her successor.

She took over as CDU leader in a manoeuvre that gave birth to the term "Merkelvellian".

That was good enough for first place but down 11 per cent since the state last voted, in 2013, and represents the party's worst performance there in more than half a century. The chancellor threw her weight behind her friend in Hesse and visited him four times on the campaign trail in recent weeks.

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