Angela Merkel Won't Seek Re-Election As Party Chair

Angela Merkel Won't Seek Re-Election As Party Chair

A senior CDU member told Reuters that party leaders wanted to discuss the possibility of Ms Merkel reversing her decision to seek re-election as party chairwoman in December.

Merkel will step down as chancellor when her current mandate runs out in 2021, a party source told AFP Monday, adding that she has no plans to seek a post in the European Commission following that despite speculation to that effect in Brussels.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is stepping down from leading her party, announcing her decision after the Christian Democratic Union's recent election struggles.

Today, as the longest serving incumbent European Union head of state, she announced she would not seek re-election as leader of the party which she has been head of ever since. The dismal performance poured further scorn over Merkel's authority as a leader of the CDU.

Ms Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) came home first in yesterday's election in the western state of Hesse but support fell by more than 11 points, reigniting a succession debate by conservatives unhappy with the chancellor's grip on power.

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

The move is not unprecedented in German politics.

An election Sunday in the central state of Hesse saw both the CDU and the Social Democrats lose significant ground amid gains for both the Green party and the far-right Alternative for Germany party.

Her CDU party and SPD coalition won the election but haemorrhaged support leaving the partnership teetering on a knife-edge.

Following the close election results, the SPD's leader, Andrea Nahles, has announced a mid-term review of the current coalition government next year, taking the declining voting numbers as a sign that the German electorate is growing exhausted of the coalition's constant in-fighting and lack of progress on bringing legislative change to Germany.

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

They also had a poor result in Bavarian elections earlier this month.

His CDU colleague Christian von Steffen was more blunt: 'We need a meaningful programme with a clear path and new faces'. The CDU is due to elect a new party chair at a conference in December.

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

The embattled leader of the SDP, Andrea Nahles, has given Merkel an ultimatum to produce the kind of policy results within a year that would start bringing back voters, threatening otherwise to end the alliance.

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