Merkel won’t seek fifth term as German chancellor
Angela Merkel set off Monday on what could be a three-year countdown to the end of her leadership of Germany, a stint that has made her the European Union’s longestserving leader and a key figure in facing the continent’s many crises.
Merkel announced that she will give up the leadership of her conone servative Christian Democratic Union in December and won’t stand for a fifth term as chancellor — signaling the beginning of the end at the helm for the woman many had labeled the “leader of the free world.”
That’s a title she herself objected to, saying leadership is never up to person or country. But she has been a stalwart face of Western democracy through turbulent times, including the European debt crisis, the migrant influx of 2015, Britain’s decision to leave the EU and escalating trade tensions with the United States.
Merkel, 64, has led the CDU since 2000 and Germany since 2005. She governs Germany in a “grand coalition” of what traditionally has been the country’s biggest parties — the CDU, Bavaria’s conservative Christian Social Union and the center-left Social Democrats.