Angela Merkel will step down as head of her party
This week started with very good news when Angela Merkel said: "The time has come to open a new chapter" confirming reports that she would not run again as party leader. She will remain Germany’s chancellor for now but said this will be her last term. She’s expected to step down as chancellor by the end of her term in 2021.
I mentioned many times before that Angela Merkel was clinging on to power for too long, and the consequence of being pushed out-of-office in mid-term elections was inevitable, as it had happened with Germany’s most recent chancellors who overstayed their term.
Angela Merkel’s had several great achievements during her consecutive terms, such as supported early childhood education and children’s rights, while overseeing substantial progress on gender equality and Merkel’s leadership and firmness in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the subsequent tensions and fighting in Ukraine. In addition, her economic plan kept Germany’s economy growing, even if in modest rates and boosted by the Brexit announcement. On the other hand, many illiberal decisions were made that I personally condemn such the implementation of a 30% quota for women on supervisory boards of large companies, the fierce war against Italy in the European Parliament regarding austerity and my biggest critic was Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to accept almost 1.5 million asylum-seekers without careful examination of their backgrounds, political status and push for their integration into German society in a unilateral decision.
Now the race is on for her successor. In December CDU delegates will begin the process by voting in the new party leader. Jens Spahn, Germany’s health minister, has already announced he will run. Young, ambitious and outspoken, he has been a vocal conservative critic of Angela Merkel’s refugee policy. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the CDU’s current general-secretary, will also run. She is a centrist in the Merkel mode and is viewed as the chancellor’s preferred candidate. Luckily Mrs. Merkel has also said she does not believe in anointing successors, so she will let rivals fight it out on their own.