Merkel expected to say she will seek fourth term as German chancellor

Source : 112 Ukraine

Polls put her conservative bloc around 10 points ahead of its nearest rivals, the Social Democrats (SPD), in next year's election with whom she shares power
09:08, 20 November 2016

Open source

Angela Merkel is set to announce on Sunday she will seek a fourth term as German chancellor in next year's election, ending months of speculation over whether one of the world's most powerful women wants to run again after 11 years in office.

On Sunday afternoon, she meets other leaders of her Christian Democrats (CDU) in Berlin to prepare for a party conference in December, the last before the election. She has called a news conference for 1800 GMT, reported by Reuters.

A pragmatist, Merkel has steered Europe's biggest economy through the financial crisis and the euro zone debt crisis and has won respect internationally - U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday described her as an "outstanding" ally.

Related: Putin and Merkel discuss risks of Ukraine’s unauthorized transit gas draught due to cold winter

It is unclear whether, if she wins a fourth term, she would serve a full four years. However, her decision last year to open Germany's borders to around 900,000 migrants, mostly from war zones in the Middle East, angered many voters and hit her personal ratings.

Her party has slumped in regional elections in the last year while support for the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) has swelled.

Related: Merkel offered Trump cooperation on principles of “democracy, freedom and respect for human rights”

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports, mainstream politicians in Europe have been warned not to underestimate the threat from populist candidates. Trump's win has shaken many European lawmakers ahead of elections next year, including in France and Germany, where right-wing parties are expected to notch up big gains.

Related: Merkel stresses importance of negotiations on Ukraine with Putin

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