19:08 GMT +326 March 2019
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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel waves as she arrives to address the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, November 13, 2018

    Merkel Contemplated Whether to Seek Re-Election as Chancellor Back in 2016

    © REUTERS / Vincent Kessler
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    BERLIN (Sputnik) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has held her position since 2005, said that she has thought about not seeking re-election back in 2016, prior to the latest federal elections.

    Merkel, who also serves as the leader of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), announced in late October that 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, while Christian Social Union (CSU), its Bavarian sister party, suffered its biggest loss in half a century in the southern state in October.

    “Back in 2016, I was thinking about whether I should become a candidate for the chancellor … it’s clear that a moment comes when the desire to see new people or the desire of other decision-making mechanisms plays a role, and I… cannot complain that it is happening too early,” Merkel said at the Berlin Economic Forum.

    READ MORE: Merkel Admits EU Can't Live Without Russian Gas, Urges to Diversify Nonetheless

    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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