Merkel party suffers heavy losses in key regional election

Merkel party suffers heavy losses in key regional election

Angela Merkel has reportedly told leaders of her conservative party that this will be her final parliamentary term as Germany's chancellor.

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader told her party that despite stepping away from the leadership role, she wanted to remain chancellor.

Merkel is now headed for a re-election bid in December within her own party, where only 13% of responding CDU voters believe that Merkel has helped the party within Heisse, and this marks the fifth time that Merkel's government has come close to collapsing in on itself from within.

But it was her boldest move, keeping open German borders in 2015 to a mass influx of refugees, that may have planted the seeds of her downfall. The party received a mere 19.8% of the vote in a state they once considered their stronghold, which has a population of over 6 million people and is home to Frankfurt am Main, one of Europe's largest financial centers.

German chancellor Angela Merkel is battling with her coalition partners over immigration.

But her views would change and on April 10, 2000, she was elected leader of the centre-right CDU party.

Merkel has chaired the CDU for 18 years and has until now insisted that the presidency of the party went hand in hand with the chancellorship post.




In Hesse, where Ms Merkel's CDU rule with the ecologist Greens, the two biggest winners were the Greens and the far-right Alternative for Germany.

The CDU's poor result in Hesse, after its sister party in the state of Bavaria, the CSU, suffered its worst result there since 1950 two weeks ago, may turbo-charge a debate about who succeeds Merkel and when.

After 13 years with Merkel at the helm, majority in coalition with the SPD, many Germans are exhausted of government by carefully-crafted compromise, calling instead for clear direction on pressing policy issues like migration, security, reform of the European Union and climate change.

The unstable government nearly collapsed twice over the summer, notably when Merkel restrained hardline Interior Minister Horst Seehofer's attempts to toughen up migrant policy.

Andrea Nahles, leader of the Social Democrats, on Sunday demanded a "clear, binding timetable" for implementing government projects before the coalition faces an already-agreed midterm review next fall.

Her CDU party and SPD coalition won the election but haemorrhaged support leaving the partnership teetering on a knife-edge.

"Firstly, at the next CDU party congress in December in Hamburg, I will not put myself forward again as candidate for the CDU chair", she told reporters, drawing the consequences of setbacks for the CDU in a regional vote on Sunday. Merkel's favoured successor is CDU party secretary general Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

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