German Chancellor Angela Merkel has dismissed all speculations that she might be seeking a 5th term in office in 2021, reports DW.
In an interview for German broadcaster ZDF on 4 June Merkel insisted she adhered “very firmly” to her 2018 decision to exit the post after completing her current term.
When asked by an interviewer if she would consider running again, the German Chancellor, 65, responded:
"No, no. Really not".
The current statements by Merkel quash rumours that were set off in early May, when Interior Minister Horst Seehofer hinted to Bild am Sonntag that the chancellor’s "strong" leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic had fueled speculation of a possible run for a 5th term in office.
In late 2018 Angela Merkel, who became chancellor in 2005, took a decision to step down from her parallel post of Christian Democrat Party (CDU) chairperson.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, currently Germany's defence minister, won a vote to succeed Merkel as CDU leader in 2018, but reportedly struggled to establish her authority within the party, announcing last February that she would not run for chancellor.
Decisions about the CDU's leadership decisions are believed will occur during Germany's next federal parliamentary elections in the third quarter of 2021, possibly by 24 October, according to DW.
There is still no clarity on the issue of who will seek to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor, with a special convention originally slated for April 2020 to choose a successor scrapped due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) will likely decide on a new leader at a regular party convention in December due to the coronavirus pandemic, current leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was quoted as saying on 14 April.
Previously, top contenders to lead the party were reportedly former Merkel rival Friedrich Merz, a German lawyer and politician of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), and Armin Laschet, the premier of Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, according to Reuters.