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.
"Stepping down as chairwoman of the CDU is only half the way for Mrs Merkel. Instead of insisting to remain in power until the end of 2021 she should leave the stage right now, before her succeeding chairperson will force her out of office yet in December 2018," Meuthen said.
He said the CDU and its partner in the national coalition, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), were losing voters because they "kept on governing as ever before."
"Even after the dramatic losses of her party in the 2017 general election Chancellor Merkel officially declared not to see any necessity for change. More and more voters seem to understand that such a policy dominated by such a chancellor does not represent the people’s true interests," he said.
The two coalition allies suffered a setback in last year’s election to the federal parliament. They also were down by 10 percentage points in last Sunday’s parliamentary vote in the central state of Hesse. In Bavaria, Merkel’s sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) lost seats to AfD and the Green party.