Berlin –Angela Merkel announced on Sunday she wants to run for a fourth term as German chancellor in next year’s election, a sign of stability after Britain’s Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president.
Source told Agence France Presse (AFP) that Merkel announced her candidacy after a meeting of senior members of her conservative Christian Democrat (CDU) party. She hopes she’d be re-elected during the party’s convention in December and then run for chancellor during the federal elections in September or October of 2017.
Merkel, 62, has served 11 years as chancellor. She is the first woman and the first person to hold the post. She was voted “World’s Most Powerful Woman” and the “Person of the Year”.
CDU deputy leader Julia Kloeckner said Merkel represents “stability and reliability in turbulent times because she holds society together and stands up to over-simplification.”
Polls showed that Merkel has a great chance in winning a fourth term. If she won, Merkel could end up matching the 16 years in office of her former mentor, Helmut Kohlon. She is Germany’s eighth chancellor since World War Two.
A recent poll for German newspaper found 55 percent of Germans supported Merkel running for a fourth term with 39 percent against, indicating that despite setbacks, she is still an electoral asset.
Despite gaining praise internationally, Merkel’s standing at home has weakened by the arrival of about 1 million refugees.
Visiting Berlin last week, Obama lavished compliments on the chancellor, saying that if he were German, he would vote for her.
“Society’s need for predictability and stability could become so overpowering in the 2017 election year that even the creeping erosion of Merkel’s chancellorship won’t compromise her success at the polls in the end,” left-leaning newspaper weekly Die Zeit said.
A poll Sunday showed that Merkel’s party would draw 33 percent of the vote if the election were held this weekend, down nine points from the last national election in 2013.
In the 2017 fall elections, Merkel faces challenges with the war in Syria, the arrival of large numbers of migrants and the continuing euro crisis tear at Germany which place demands on its people.