German Chancellor Angela Merkel Calls This Her Last Parliamentary Term, 'Won't Contest in 2021'
File image of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Berlin, October 29: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been leading the nation since 2005, would not be running for another term in 2021 -- when her incumbent tenure would conclude. To ensure a smooth transition, Merkel would also be relinquishing the leadership of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in December this year.

Merkel, 64, has been leading the CDU since 2000. "After 18 years, the time has come for a transition," the Chancellor said, adding that she would not be influencing the party on whom they wish to elect as their president. Pakistan PM Imran Khan Briefs Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel About Relations with India.

The top two candidates vying for the party's coveted post are Health Minister Jens Spahn and CDU general secretary Kramp-Karrenbauer. While Spahn has been a critic of Merkel's performance in her fourth term so far, Kramp-Karrenbauer is considered close to the CDU supremo.

Merkel's announcement comes in the backdrop of two electoral reverses suffered by the ruling coalition led by CDU in the provincial polls held in Hesse and Bavaria.

Analysts claimed that the electorate expressed their resentment against Merkel's fourth term, which has been plagued by "poor governance" due to constant fighting among the allies.

The fourth term -- which began in September 2017 -- featured a weaker Merkel as the CDU was reduced from the majority status and forced to ally with three smaller parties.

Merkel, while addressing her party, said she would be solely responsible for the lacklustre performance of the government, adding that steps would be taken by her to turn things around.