Who will succeed Merkel?
Chancellor for almost 13 years – her time in office has overlapped with four French presidents and four British prime ministers.
She has confirmed that she will step down as German chancellor by 2021.
Christian von Stetten, 48:
Loud opponent of Merkel’s policies on bailing out Greece and opening nation’s borders to millionplus migrants in 2015.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, 56:
Close Merkel ally and general secretary of CDU has said she is ready to run for CDU leadership.
Jens Spahn, 38:
Arch-conservative, health minister and critic of Merkel. Has announced he will stand for party leadership.
Friedrich Merz, 62:
Long-time rival regarded as more uncompromisingly conservative than Merkel. Former parliamentary leader of CDU is also joining race to succeed Merkel.