Merkel says she wants to run for fourth term
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