Her popularity evaporated lately!

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has confirmed that she plans to step down as the leader of her Christian Democrats (CDU) party after 18 years in December, but will remain as chancellor until the next federal elections.

Merkel, 64, made the announcement on Monday following reports from senior party sources that she planned to resign as CDU chairwoman.The euro fell to session lows on the news.

“Firstly, at the next CDU party conference in December in Hamburg, I will not put myself forward again as candidate for the CDU chair,” she told reporters at her party headquarters in the capital, Berlin.

“Secondly, this fourth term is my last as German chancellor. At the federal election in 2021, I will not stand again as chancellor candidate, nor as a candidate for the Bundestag [federal parliament] and … I won’t seek any further political offices,” Merkel added.

The chancellor also said that she would not run for office should a snap election be held before 2021.

“Today it is time to begin a new chapter,” said Merkel, who revealed that she had made the decision to resign before the German parliament’s summer recess and had planned to announce it on the first week of November.

The developments come after the CDU came home first but bled support in a vote in the western state of Hesse on Sunday, the second electoral setback in as many weeks for Merkel’s conservative alliance.

OPINION

Standing down from the party chair would allow a new CDU chairman or woman to build a profile before the next national election, due in 2021.

Merkel’s favoured successor is thought to be CDU party Secretary-General Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who, along with Health Minister Jens Spahn, announced her candidacy on Monday, Merkel confirmed.

However, Merkel refused to back either candidate, saying that she would not try to influence talks on who replaces her as leader of the conservative party.

Merkel’s weakness at home may limit her capacity to lead in the European Union at a time when the bloc is dealing with Brexit, a budget crisis in Italy and the prospect of populist parties making gains at European Parliament elections next May.

She told reporters on Monday that Brexit and US-Russia tensions would be continue to be her main focus for the remainder of her chancellorship and that not much would change on Eurozone issues as the German parliament will have to approve any major decisions.

 

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

 

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