German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a shocking announcement this week and said she will be stepping down as the leader of the country’s conservative party.
She also said that she won’t be running for a fifth term as chancellor in Germany’s next federal elections in 2021.
It’s no secret that her party has struggled to keep voters.
“Mrs Merkel had intended to stand for re-election as party chairman at the next party conference of her centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) in December. But on October 28th the CDU suffered a major blow in regional elections in the German state of Hesse. The chancellor’s announcement is being seen as a dignified attempt to stage-manage her own exit,” writes The Economist.
Her party only secured 28 percent of the vote in the state of Hesse.
Merkel’s response to the migrant crisis divided Germany. Merkel’s open border refugee policy allowed over 1 million refugees in the country.
Germany has since then struggled to provide the resources and housing needed for these migrants. This chaos has fueled a spike in crime. Many blame Merkel for the rise in terror attacks in Germany in the last two years.
This has caused her party’s ratings to plummet. The Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party, on the other hand, gained massive support in reaction to Merkel’s open-door migrant policy.
This appears to be Merkel’s way of bowing down gracefully versus getting pushed out like chancellors of the past.
“I am trying to do my part to ensure that the federal government finally gets the strength to focus on doing good for the country,” said Merkel on Monday. “I am convinced that this action offers many more opportunities than risks. It is time to start a new chapter.”
Last September, Merkel managed to win the election, but it was bittersweet.
“It has been a long and bruising election campaign. Mrs Merkel may have won the election but it does not feel like much of a victory,” wrote Reuters in September of 2017. “This election will go down in the history books for two reasons. Angela Merkel may have won a fourth term but it is her worst-ever general election result. And right-wing nationalists are now part of the German establishment.”
Since then, her party has continued to lose support at a rapid rate.
“She’s aware that the slaughter of her party losing so much support has never happened before,” said Olaf Boehnke, a senior political analyst at Rasmussen Global, a think tank in Brussels. “Nobody wants to risk new elections right now.”
“As the chancellor and the chair of the CDU, I carry responsibility both for the successes and for the failures,” said Merkel.
Author’s note: It’s time for her to step down. Not only is her party’s support diminishing, but its time for a fresh start for Germany. She is probably also tired of the constant criticism. Her immigration policies for forever changed Germany. Germany is now a much more dangerous and chaotic place to live, the damage from her immigration policies has already been done. But if no one steps up as a bold leader, Germany will have even more problems. It would be better for the country if she steps down quickly, but she will likely linger until 2021 if she can.