Published: Thu, November 01, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Comments On Merkel Resigning as CDU Chairman

Comments On Merkel Resigning as CDU Chairman

The fact that, by announcing that she will not run for the party leadership in December, Angela Merkel acted contrary to previous statements about the union of party leadership and chancellorship is secondary.

All three parties have suffered punishing setbacks in regional elections this month, building internal party pressure for them to switch leaders or break up the coalition.

Both Merz and Spahn are from North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state. Her exit as Chancellor is predicted to be just like her 13-year-long reign: dragged out. Merkel is giving up the job but plans to remain chancellor.

"One can even say that I will have more time to focus on my responsibilities as the head of the government", Merkel said at a press conference after the negotiations with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi.

"Mrs Merkel won't be disappearing any time soon", Spahn said in a brief interview on the sidelines of the event. She wants to stay on as Chancellor through the end of this term, which ends in 2021. Liberalism's remaining champions _ French President Emmanuel Macron, for example _ lack Merkel's presence or her nation's economic might. President Trump, who has frequently clashed with Merkel, has not yet commented publicly on Merkel's announcement.

The next federal election is in 2021. Its leaders have already voiced their concern that changes inside the CDU may have negative implications for the AfD.

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Since the CDU spluttered in the 2017 parliamentary polls, the headlines that Merkel wakes to have been relentlessly negative: she lost her key parliamentary henchman, Volker Kauder, who was forced out by unhappy coalition lawmakers; her grand coalition has teetered on the edge of collapse over migration issues; and there has been an unhelpful scandal involving the country's spy chief.

Sunday's election in the central state of Hesse saw both Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union and the center-left Social Democrats lose significant ground, while there were gains for both the Greens and the far-right Alternative for Germany.

In recent years, Merkel has made policy errors - her handling of the 2015 refugee crisis foremost among them - that have damaged her political brand and weakened Germany's ability to lead.

Merz, who quit politics a decade after losing an inner-party power struggle with Merkel, is one of the three declared candidates for the post, the holder of which would be in pole position to become Germany's next chancellor.

In the late summer of 2015, Merkel made the decision to allow hundreds of thousands of migrants, ostensibly fleeing Syria and the civil war raging there, to come to Europe.

"We can not allow voters turning away from established parties out of frustration and giving their votes to populist parties", Merz said in connection with CDU voters resorting to the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in the recently conducted polls. Even in socially liberal Europe, many citizens still prefer national boundaries and government that enact and enforce immigration laws.

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