Change in Germany: Leading candidates to replace Merkel

Adjust Comment Print

The arrival of more than a million asylum seekers since has not only left a deep chasm in German society, it has also empowered a far-right party that has upended German politics.

In the end, the move won't just be good for her, but for her party, too.

Heiner Bremer, a German political commentator, said Ms. Merkel was unlikely herself to nominate someone to follow in her shoes but would be more likely to pass on such recommendations via politicians within the party who enjoy more support.

Germany's Angela Merkel will quit as head of her Christian Democratic party after nearly two decades, a person familiar with the matter said.

"The image presented by the government is unacceptable", Merkel said at a press conference in Berlin, a day after her party suffered its latest setback in a regional election.

Merkel has been heralded as both a hero and villain for her open-door refugee policy in Germany.

Merkel has dragged the CDU to the political centre in her years as leader, dropping military conscription, introducing benefits encouraging fathers to look after their young children, and abruptly accelerating the shutdown of Germany's nuclear power plants following Japan's Fukushima disaster in 2011.

The SPD-CDU "grand coalition" came together as Merkel's second choice after her talks failed with the Greens and the pro-business FDP parties following last year's inconclusive elections.

Khashoggi killing: Trump slams 'worst cover-up ever'
The Turkish President also stated that he wants the 18 detained Saudi nationals to be tried in Turkey by "an impartial team". But Sabah, another pro-government newspaper, says Saudi Arabia has yet to give Turkish authorities permission for a search.

"I will accept any democratic decision taken by my party", she said. Her fourth-term government took office only in March but has become notorious for squabbling.

Merkel's ruling coalition "has lost the confidence of the electorate", said Josef Joffe, publisher-editor of weekly Die Zeit.

Andrea Nahles, federal chairwoman of the Social Democratic Party SPD, gives a statement at the SPD headquarters in Berlin, on October 28, 2018.

Two prominent candidates immediately threw their hats in the ring: Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, 56, the party's general secretary, who is viewed as a Merkel ally and largely backs her centrist approach; and Health Minister Jens Spahn, 38, an ambitious conservative who has talked tough on migration and has criticized Merkel. She is not expected to run for a fifth term as chancellor in 2021.

Such results would make various regional coalitions possible, with the Greens potentially joining parties to their right or left or even, if their results are exceptionally good, having a chance to make their local leader Tarek Al-Wazir - now Bouffier's deputy - the state governor.

Merkel, who is 64, has served as chancellor since 2005.

The Social Democrats' leader, Andrea Nahles, demanded Sunday a "clear, binding timetable" for implementing government projects before the coalition faces an already-agreed midterm review next fall. Such an outcome would increase pressure from the SPD's rank-and-file for the party to pull out of the coalition with Merkel in Berlin.

Spahn has been a critic of Merkel while Kramp-Karrenbauer is widely seen as relatively close to the chancellor. Although there are many months before the next regional poll, a vote touching the chancellor more personally is slated for December, when she must stand for reelection as party chief.