Merkel Re­signs from CDU

The McGill Daily - - News - Aish­warya Moothan News Writer

On Oc­to­ber 29, An­gela Merkel an­nounced in an ad­dress to her party that she will not be seek­ing re-elec­tion as Ger­many’s chan­cel­lor when her of­fice term ends in 2021. Merkel’s party, the Chris­tian Demo­cratic Union (CDU) suf­fered heavy losses in re­gional elec­tions in the Ger­man state of Hesse. Merkel took re­spon­si­bil­ity for the CDU’S losses in the lo­cal elec­tions, and con­firmed to party mem­bers that she will not run again for the lead­er­ship of the party come De­cem­ber. The party’s de­cline in pop­u­lar­ity is re­lated to the ris­ing rightwing and anti-im­mi­gra­tion sen­ti­ments, no­tably in the form of the na­tion­al­ist Al­ter­na­tive for Ger­many party. The ques­tion is now whether Merkel will be able to last her full term. It is spec­u­lated that the cur­rent coali­tion be­tween her party and the So­cial Democrats may col­lapse be­fore the next na­tional elec­tions, in which case a snap elec­tion would be called.

Which­ever di­rec­tion the up­com­ing elec­tions take, changes at the top of Ger­many’s po­lit­i­cal hi­er­ar­chy can have im­por­tant im­pli­ca­tions for all of Europe; the an­nounce­ment of Merkel’s res­ig­na­tion it­self has shaken con­fi­dence in the Euro within the re­gion. Her suc­ces­sor will face ma­jor chal­lenges. Re­shap­ing the Euro­pean Union af­ter Brexit, Europe’s re­sponse to refugees, strength­en­ing Euro­pean unity, and clashes with gov­ern­ments in the west (the United States and the Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion), and to the east (Rus­sia and the Krem­lin) are all fac­tors the next chan­cel­lor must deal with. Merkel has con­firmed that she will not be for­mally back­ing any of the can­di­dates for the po­si­tion.

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