Angela Merkel to Seek Fourth Term as German ChancellorJanuary 2, 2017 in Germany
Germany’s centre-right Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that she will run for a fourth term in office.
She told her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in Berlin that she expected her toughest campaign yet and would “fight for our values and our way of life.” An election is due to be held next year after four years of coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD). Speaking to reporters, Mrs Merkel disclosed that the decision to run for a fourth term had been “anything but trivial after 11 years in office,” adding that she expected challenges from both the right and the left of the political spectrum.
While Mrs Merkel’s poll ratings have slipped since the height of her popularity, she retains wide support. A poll for one Sunday newspaper found that 55% of Germans would vote for her. However she will be battling the tide of populism that swept Donald Trump to victory in the Untied States and which is also washing across Europe.
The Chancellor, who has been in office since 2005, is also being challenged by the populist right-wing AfD party. In September, she accepted responsibility for election defeats for the CDU in several states, conceding that her open-door policy towards migrants had been a factor. Earlier this year, the head of the country’s federal office for migration and refugees disclosed that Germany expected up to 300,000 migrants to arrive in the country this year. Last year, it received more than a million applications for asylum.
If she win’s next year’s general election, which is due to take place between August and October, she will equal the post-war record set by Helmut Kohl, who was chancellor from 1982 to 1998. Germany does not have term limits on the country’s top job.
Merkel’s Three Terms in Office:
2005 – 2009
- November 2005 – Becomes Germany’s first female leader after stalemate elections result in grand coalition
- September 2007 – Holds historic talks with exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, in a move that angers China
2009 – 2013
- June 2010 – Merkel’s fiscal austerity programme to deal with the eurozone crisis is approved
- October 2010 – Merkel states that attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany have “utterly failed”
- May 2011 – Merkel states that a nuclear phase-out by 2022 can make Germany trailblazer
- June 2012 – Chancellor urges the European Union political union, calling for “more Europe
- 2013 – Claims emerge that a US spy agency tapped Merkel’s phone, in a move that strains German-US ties.
2013 – Present
- February 2015 – Merkel, along with French President Francois Hollande, brokers a deal aimed to stop fighting in eastern Ukraine
- December 2015 – Merkel is named as Person of the Year by Time magazine
- March/September 2015 – CPU suffers defeats in regional polls, with Merkel admitting that her immigration policies were a key factor.
- November 2015 – In the wake of a deadly terrorist attack in Paris, France, Merkel’s government pledges to deploy aircraft and a navy ship to fight the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in Syria