Germany’s Merkel announces to give up party leadership

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN (AA) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Monday that she won’t run in her party’s December leadership election, amid heavy losses of Christian Democrats in recent regional polls.

Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, following a meeting of her party’s executive board, Merkel said she wanted to open the way for a change within the party.

“I will not be standing for reelection as party chair in the upcoming CDU party conference in December,” she said.

Merkel underlined that she intended to remain chancellor until her term ends in 2021.

“My fourth term, will be my last term as chancellor,” she said, adding that she will not seek any political position afterwards.

Merkel, who has led the CDU for 18 years, came under growing pressure after Christian Democrats suffered heavy losses in recent regional polls in the states of Bavaria and Hesse.

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