Calling her 13-year run as chancellor a "daily challenge and honor", Merkel said that she recognized that it was time to "start a new chapter" in her life.
Oettinger said that she enjoys trust "from Sophia to Lisbon, from Dublin to Athens". Feldmann's murder shocked Germany, the Jewish community, and especially locals, and it likely pushed voters towards the only party to categorically reject Merkel's refugee policy, which has seen a rise in terrorism in Germany. The Wall Street Journal reported that senior CDU politicians said the party was discussing the possibility of forcing Merkel to step down as soon as December.
Merz joins two already-declared candidates: Merkel ally Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the CDU's general secretary; and Health Minister Jens Spahn, an advocate of a more right-wing approach. "We pay tribute to our fantastic, multicultural and multinational team in Germany, whose work is being recognized today, and to our partnership with ZWST, which makes this program possible". She has held the post since 2000. While Merkel's party won the election with 27 percent of the votes, it suffered a decline of about 11 points since the last Hesse election.
The leader of the Free World, a title Merkel earned when US president Donald Trump abandoned American globalism in favor of nationalist tribalism, said it was "time for a new chapter" in German politics. With the Social Democrats in power at the time, that made Merkel the opposition leader, a position she used as a springboard to the chancellery three years later.
And, of course, for the new CDU leader, there will be the question of how disadvantageous being associated with Merkel is.
With Britain already planning its exit from Europe, Merkel was left with the task of keeping the continent's liberal democracies together, shoring up its weaker economies, taking in Syrian war refugees (and in so doing, expressing long-standing Western humanitarian values) and, importantly, providing a counterweight and counterexample to a belligerent Russian Federation and an increasingly influential China.
Angela Merkel's decision to quit as German chancellor in 2021 spells uncertainty and possibly paralysis for the European Union as populists rally, diplomats and analysts warn. In any case, it's going to be a contest and probably an unseemly one at that, which just may give Merkel the breathing space needed to complete her legacy. He is emphasizing the need to curb unregulated migration. Merkel's sister party, the center-right Christian Social Union (CSU), also lost its majority to the AfD and the Greens in Bavaria, the country's largest state containing the city of Munich.
"With these latest results, it has simply become untenable that Merkel continues to lead the CDU", said Mujtaba Rahman, managing director at Eurasia Group, a consultancy.
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