Merkel to stand for fourth term as German chancellor

Angela Merkel set to confirm tonight that she will seek a fourth term in office as German chancellor during next year's elections 

Angela Merkel has been German chancellor since 2005
Angela Merkel has been German chancellor since 2005

German chancellor Angela Merkel has confirmed she will run for a fourth term in office during next year’s election.

After months of speculation, Merkel is due to hold an evening press conference during a meeting of her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) party to say she will seek a fourth term in the 2017 elections.

Another four-year mandate, which pollsters say is likely, would tie the postwar record set by her mentor Helmut Kohl, who presided over the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.

CDU leader Julia Klockner told Welt am Sonntag newspaper that Merkel represents “stability and reliability in turbulent times because she holds society together and stands up to oversimplification” by poupulists.

“She stands for moderation and centrism instead of cheap headlines,” she said.

Merkel suffered an embarrassing regional election defeat earlier this year and is being challenged by the right-wing AfD party. After the result, she accepted responsibility for the defeats in several states and conceded that her open-door policy towards migrants played a role towards it.

However, Merkel still enjoys high approval ratings. 55% of the electorate want her to remain in office, up from 42% in August, a poll for Bild am Sonntag showed on Sunday.

She had long refused to be drawn on her plans for the election, saying only that she would make the announcement “at the appropriate time”.

She repeated the line on Thursday at a farewell press conference in Berlin with outgoing US president Barack Obama, who praised her as an “outstanding partner” and urged Germans to “appreciate” her.

“It’s up to her whether she wants to stand again…but if I were here and I were German and I had a vote, I might support her,” he said with a smile.

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