Merkel hosts African leaders, pledges new development fund

Marquardt,Christian  ZUMA Press  Newscom

Marquardt,Christian ZUMA Press Newscom

For 13 years Angela Merkel has been a cool head at summits and a powerful broker in troubled Europe, but analysts say the countdown until her announced departure could leave her an global lame duck.

Now into her fourth term as German Chancellor, it has taken Angela Merkel rather longer to reach the same conclusion.

Merkel's weakness at home may limit her capacity to lead in the European Union at a time when the bloc is dealing with Brexit, a budget crisis in Italy and the prospect of populist parties making gains at European parliament elections next May.

Merkel and General Secretary of the CDU Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and the former head of the CDU in the Bundestag, Friedrich Merz. Working against her is that internal pressure for a clean break with the Merkel era after eighteen years may prove too great.

Weber, a member of the Bavarian CSU conservative party, told broadcaster ZDF that Merkel had always been a strong voice for Europe, and she could now amplify her leadership role.

The German chancellor welcomed 11 African leaders to Berlin to introduce them to the CEOs of Germany's biggest firms. The Wall Street Journal reported that senior CDU politicians said the party was discussing the possibility of forcing Merkel to step down as soon as December. Merkel has said she would not put her thumb on the scale for any candidate, but "will accept any democratic decision taken by my party".

There is a heightened risk of early elections in the 12-month-outlook as the CDU's junior coalition partner SPD seems increasingly unlikely to stay in government for a full legislative term. She told party members she won't contest the leadership of her party at a conference this December.

Khashoggi's body cut into pieces and 'dissolved'
His killing has caused countries worldwide to re-examine their relationship with the kingdom, especially the United States. Iran has denied accusations it is building a nuclear bomb, saying weapons of mass destruction are prohibited under Islam.

While it's hard to measure what kind of impact Jews joining the AfD has had on the larger entity's reputation, which is often smeared as "Nazi party", it was the state of Hesse that eventually sealed Merkel's slow downfall.

The far-reaching conclusion could not be ignored: Merkel lost her mandate as the party's leader.

The CDU's renewal will highly depend on whether Merkel's successor will largely continue with her centrist policy direction or move the party back further to the right. It is now represented in all of Germany's 16 states.

The number of new arrivals in Germany has fallen sharply this year, partly due to stricter border controls across Europe as well as tighter asylum rules in Germany and other countries.

Mrs Merkel made her announcement after the CDU's terrible showing in Sunday's regional elections in Hesse, where the party's share of the vote slumped to 27 percent, down 10 percent on the previous poll in 2013. "We do need to work through the election result", he said.

After a drubbing at two regional polls in as many weeks, the SPD has signalled it may walk away if Merkel's centre-right alliance of CDU and Bavarian allies CSU fails to meet its demands.

Merkel standing down from the party chair will allow a new CDU chairman or chairwoman to build a profile before the next national election.

Latest News