Merkel says she wants to run for fourth term

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

BERLIN: Angela Merkel told top mem­bers of her party yes­ter­day that she wants to run for a fourth term as Ger­man chan­cel­lor in next year’s elec­tion, se­nior party sources said, af­ter months of spec­u­la­tion about one of the world’s most pow­er­ful women.

De­spite a voter back­lash over her open-door mi­grant pol­icy, the con­ser­va­tive is seen as a sta­bil­is­ing force in Europe amid un­cer­tainty caused by Bri­tain’s vote to leave the Euro­pean Union and the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump as the next US pres­i­dent.

Merkel told lead­ing fig­ures in her Chris­tian Democrats (CDU) party in Berlin yes­ter­day about her in­ten­tions, sev­eral par­tic­i­pants said. There will be a meet­ing to pre­pare for a party con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber, the last be­fore the elec­tion.

Some 55% of Ger­mans want Merkel to serve a fourth term, with 39% against, an Em­nid poll pub­lished in the Bild am Son­ntag news­pa­per showed yes­ter­day. Merkel, 62, has steered Europe’s big­gest econ­omy through the fi­nan­cial cri­sis and the euro zone debt cri­sis and has won re­spect in­ter­na­tion­ally – US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama on Thurs­day de­scribed her as an “out­stand­ing” ally.

With Trump’s vic­tory in the US and the rise in sup­port for right-wing par­ties in Europe, some com­men­ta­tors see Merkel as a bas­tion of Western lib­eral val­ues.

How­ever, her de­ci­sion last year to open Ger­many’s bor­ders to around 900,000 mi­grants, mostly from war zones in the Mid­dle East, an­gered many vot­ers at home and hit her per­sonal rat­ings.

Her party has slumped in re­gional elec­tions in the last year. In Septem­ber, af­ter a heavy de­feat for the CDU in a Berlin state elec­tion, a hum­bled Merkel sur­prised the coun­try by say­ing she wished she could turn the clock back on the mi­grant cri­sis though she stopped short of say­ing her pol­icy was a mis­take. – Reuters

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