Merkel to step down at end of 2018

2018/10/29 13:11


(Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel will step down as party leader in December, a Christian Democratic Union (CDU) official said on Monday.
"Merkel will not run for party leadership," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirming informationin Der Spiegel magazine and the newspaper Hanelsblatt on their Web sites.
Merkel's coalition partners had given Merkel one year to achieve better political results and had threatened to quit the government if there was no progress after the two parties lost local elections on Sunday.
The results of a poll for voters on exit from polling stations, broadcast by ARD television, showed that although the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) was dominant in Germany, it received only 28 percent of votes in the state of Hesse.
That is a big drop in the party's popularity, which took place in the last elections in the state in 2013, 38.3 percent of the vote.
The results of the center-left Social Democrats were even worse, with 20 percent of the vote, up from 30.7 percent in 2013.
This is the worst result of the party in the western German state since 1946, and the Greens finished third At a rate of 19.5 percent of the vote.
Social Democrat leader Andrea Nales said she would use a roadmap to measure the progress of the ruling coalition, which is suffering from internal conflicts.
"We can then measure the implementation of this road map at the mid-term review agreed upon, and we will be able to see clearly whether this government is the right place for us," she told reporters.
Her message was clear that the Social Democrats needed to be able to show tangible results to their supporters next year, or the party leaders would withdraw from the coalition with Merkel.
Merkel's fourth, and perhaps last, government has almost collapsed twice, but the poor performance of the Social Democrats in Hesse will certainly fuel debate within the party over whether it can withdraw from the coalition.
The poll also showed that only 13 percent of the CDU voters believed Merkel helped the party in Hesse down from a 70 percent rate in the previous state election.