Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Mer

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

An­gela Merkel will seek a fourth term as Ger­many’s chan­cel­lor in gen­eral elec­tions next year, the Ger­man news agency dpa re­ported Sun­day.

Dpa, cit­ing sources at the Ber­lin head­quar­ters of Merkel’s Chris­tian Demo­crat party, re­ported that the 62-year-old chan­cel­lor also will run to be re-elected as the party’s chair­woman when it holds its na­tional con­ven­tion next month.

Merkel is ex­pected to de­clare her can­di­dacy for chan­cel­lor at a press con­fer­ence at the party’s head­quar­ters later on Sun­day.

A physi­cist by train­ing, Merkel be­came Ger­many’s first fe­male head of gov­ern­ment in 2005. She also is the first leader of a re­united Ger­many to have grown up un­der com­mu­nism in the for­mer East Ger­many.

If she wins next year and serves the en­tire four-year term, Merkel would match her one-time men­tor Hel­mut Kohl’s post-war record of 16 years in of­fice.

Re­peat­edly named “The World’s Most Pow­er­ful Woman” by Forbes magazine, Merkel also has been sug­gested by some as the last pow­er­ful de­fender of lib­eral val­ues in the West fol­low­ing Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion as the next U.S. pres­i­dent.

Nearly 60 per­cent of Ger­mans sur­veyed in a re­cent poll said they wanted Merkel to run for of­fice again, Man­fred Guell­ner, the head of the Forsa polling agency, said.

“In these dif­fi­cult times, Merkel is a pillar of sta­bil­ity,” Guell­ner told The As­so­ci­ated Press. “Peo­ple have the feel­ing she rep­re­sents Ger­man in­ter­ests well abroad.”

While she’s never been de­scribed as a vi­sion­ary or earned much praise for stir­ring speeches, Merkel has won re­spect for be­ing tough, shrewd and doggedly tackling prob­lems.

Since be­com­ing chan­cel­lor, she’s dealt with sev­eral in­ter­na­tional crises, in­clud­ing the Eu­ro­zone debt cri­sis in 2008-09 for which she bro­kered com­pro­mises among frac­tious Euro­pean Union lead­ers.

She has been a strong ad­vo­cate of ef­forts to com­bat cli­mate change, and in 2011 abruptly ac­cel­er­ated the shut­down of Ger­many’s nu­clear power plants fol­low­ing the melt­downs at Ja­pan’s Fukushima plant.

Un­re­solved diplo­matic chal­lenges in­clude Europe’s re­la­tion­ship with Rus­sia, the fu­ture of Ukraine, au­to­cratic de­vel­op­ments in Tur­key, the on­go­ing war in Syria and ne­go­ti­a­tions over Bri­tain’s exit from the Euro­pean Union.

Merkel also needs to brace her­self for the pop­ulist wave sweep­ing both the United States and Europe, where elec­tions

Pho­to­graph: AP

Res­cuers use ma­chin­ery to clear the de­bris af­ter 14 coaches of an overnight pas­sen­ger train rolled off the track near Pukhrayan vil­lage Kan­pur De­hat district, Ut­tar Pradesh state, In­dia. 104 were killed and dozens more were in­jured in the ac­ci­dent.

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