Merkel announced on Monday she would not run for party leader in December or seek a fifth term as chancellor in 2021, setting a deadline for her exit from German politics. It came after the CDU suffered a setback in a state vote in Hesse last Sunday, while its Bavarian sister party suffered its biggest loss in half a century in the southern state.
"I think it means that the Conservatives in Germany will revert to more traditional positions than in the past decade. Under Merkel’s leadership, the CDU has all but lost its conservative profile. This political path is coming to an end," the lawmaker replied after he was asked about the impact Merkel’s decision would have on Germany’s political landscape.
"It seems that Merkel has realized that, after 13 years of chancellorship, her political capital has finally been consumed, most profoundly by the government's temporary loss of control during the refugee crisis of 2015. Unable to rebuild her authority, she has drawn the right conclusion," Felgentreu said.
Merkel has been criticized for her open-door migration policy, which resulted in a million of mostly North African migrants pouring into Germany in 2015. Her party’s popularity slumped in the following years, causing it to lose seats in the federal parliament in 2017.
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