Angela Merkel will step down as Germany's chancellor in 2021

29 October, 2018, 15:33 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Merkel Faces Test of Her Authority in German Regional Vote

While she will remain Chancellor of Germany, media reports say she will not stand for the CDU leadership bid again and that she'll put forward her candidacy at a CDU party conference in Hamburg on 7-8 December this year.

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 predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder, stepped down as leader of his centre-left Social Democrats in 2004 as his government struggled, but remained chancellor until he narrowly lost an election 18 months later.

In the vote for the central Hesse region's state legislature, the CDU managed a lucklustre win, with the SDP running neck-and-neck with the Greens for second place.

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 result, the SPD's worst since 1946, will pile pressure on the party leader, Andrea Nahles.

Projections showed the Islamophobic, far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) winning 12 percent of the vote, thereby entering the Parliament of the State of Hesse for the first time.

The chancellor has indicated that she will seek another two-year term as CDU leader in December.

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According to an exit poll in Hesse state by public broadcaster ARD, Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) shed around 10 points for a 28-per cent score, compared with 38.3 per cent in 2013.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, secretary general of the CDU, is seen October 21 in Berlin during the election campaign. "The state of the government is unacceptable". It was the first coalition between the CDU and the traditionally left-leaning Greens to last a full parliamentary term, and an unexpectedly harmonious alliance.

"Secondly, this fourth term is my last as German chancellor".

Merkel has dragged the CDU to the political centre 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.

This will distract her from tending to major challenges at home and overseas - ranging from overcoming a digital deficit and pushing the German auto industry toward cleaner mobility to seeing through euro zone reforms and managing Britain's planned departure from the European Union.

Merkel's coalition was twice on the brink of collapse, once over immigration policy and then over a dispute about the fate of the domestic intelligence chief who was accused of harbouring far-right views.

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