Arguably the world’s most powerful woman and de facto leader of European Union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced her complete withdrawal from politics on Monday.
Angela Merkel, the predominant leader in European politics for over a decade, has decided to retire from politics. This is the fourth term of Merkel as the chancellor of Germany.
Angela expressed her desire of withdrawing completely from politics after this term as chancellor ends. She will not be a member/leader of the conservative Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU). She will not seek another term as chancellor at Germany’s next federal elections, due in 2021.
It was Merkel’s decision to keep Germany’s borders open during Europe’s immigration crisis in 2015 following the war in Syria when one million asylum seekers left the ISIS-affected country and entered Merkel's territory, burdening the German economy and posing serious social, religious and political challenges to the country offering this huge population shelter. This was a controversial decision by Merkel. Barring this episode, she generally been hailed for her style of governance.
The German ruling party’s secretary-general Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is Merkel’s presumed successor. Annegret announced her candidacy on Monday, but Merkel decided to lie low in the election as she does not want want to influence the polls.
Merkel has been the CDU’s chairperson since the year 2000. She turned chancellor in 2005. Liberal FDP party leader Christian Lindner was the first to demand chancellor Merkel’s resignation, calling her rule a conservative block while “preparing for a real new beginning in Germany”.
The announcement of Angela's retirement was made on Monday after the CDU lost support in two state elections in the past fortnight. In the preliminary results, the party is sinking to 27%, which is the worst since 1966 and there is a drop of 11 points since the central German state of Hesse last went to polls in 2013.
Social Democrats (SPD), Merkel’s coalition partner in Berlin, steeped to 19.8% in the dead race with the resurgent Green Party claiming the second place. The final poll's outcome is the worst by SPD since 1946.
SPD leader Nahles ruled out a change in leadership in her party. “A personnel configuration is not being discussed in the SPD,” she told journalists on Monday after Merkel’s announcement of her complete withdrawal from politics.
The euro has been slanting after Merkel’s announcement. The indefinite withdrawal of Germany’s most experienced and powerful chancellor has pushed both public and political spheres in Europe into a realm of uncertainty.
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Last Updated 30, Oct 2018, 1:47 PM