German governing parties punished in state election

30 October, 2018, 05:11 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Germans Are Completely Fed Up Want Change – Ex Diplomat on Elections

Angela Merkel on Monday said she was stepping down as the leader of Germany's Christian Democratic Union party.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told leaders of her party that she will not seek re-election as chairwoman at a conference in early December, a senior senior party source said.

For now the CDU will nearly certainly support her decision as it focuses on the leadership contest and the Social Democrats, while they've been punished for joining Merkel's coalition, have little incentive to trigger an election.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

Sunday's voting followed a state election in Bavaria two weeks ago, in which the SPD and CSU also suffered major setbacks.

Merkel was born Angela Dorothea Kasner on July 17, 1954 in the port city of Hamburg, the daughter of a Lutheran clergyman and a school teacher.

At the weekend, the CDU performed poorly in the elections in the central German state of Hesse.

She said her party would insist on Merkel's governing coalition agreeing on "a clear, binding timetable" for implementing projects, and that how that is implemented ahead of an already-agreed midterm review next fall will show "whether we are still in the right place in this government".

Merkel's decision does not mean she will cease to be Germany's leader in December.

Merkel told reporters in Berlin that she has led the CDU with "passion and dedication" but added, "today it is time to start a new chapter".

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She said the Government had lost credibility. But by stepping down, she can now initiate the renewal her party so badly needs.

Merkel, trained scientist raised behind the Iron Curtain, long held the support of German voters as a guarantor of stability and prosperity, notably during the global financial crisis and euro zone turmoil.

Citing CDU sources, German press agency DPA reported that Health Minister Jens Spahn plans to run to succeed Merkel as party leader. She also announced she would not pursue another term as Chancellor after her current mandate finishes in 2021, and would not pursue a political career in the European Union.

There was widespread pre-election speculation that a disastrous result for either or both parties could further destabilize the national government, prompting calls for the Social Democrats to walk out and possibly endangering Merkel's own position.

Nahles declined to comment Monday on the reports that Merkel might step down as CDU leader.

She said the SPD would now lay out a "roadmap" in Berlin demanding concrete progress on key issues by next October, including pension rights and better childcare, before deciding whether to remain in the coalition.

Merkel's 13 years in power have piled up baggage from repeated compromise-laden "grand coalitions" with the SPD, as well as a fateful 2015 decision to keep Germany's borders open, ultimately allowing in more than one million migrants.

"We do not know who will come after Merkel and what policy will be continued after Merkel".

Increasing numbers of SPD members have been calling for the party to quit the government and lick its wounds in opposition, as it is presently polling below AfD nationwide, at 15 percent to the far-right's 16 percent.

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