Close
Date TimeOctober 29, 2018
VoiceChancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Monday took her first concrete steps to move away from political life, saying she would give up leadership of her conservative party while vowing to finish out her term in 2021.
Merkel made her announcement, in a meeting of conservative leaders, after two disastrous results in regional elections that saw her party and its allies slump to near-record lows. Many observers, including in her own party, doubted that she could hang on as a lame duck until 2021 and speculated that elections could come sooner.
Angela Merkel To Step Down From Christian Democrat Party In December
After leading the Christian Democratic Union for 18 years and the country for 13, Merkel, 64, said her decision aimed to give her party the opportunity “to get ready for the time after me.”
She also said she would not seek any other political office.
Merkel’s fractious coalition government, which took six months to cobble together and nearly collapsed twice since then, has long lost its majority in opinion polls.
On Sunday, Merkel’s conservatives won just 27 per cent of the vote in the central state of Hesse, down from 38 per cent five years ago — their worst showing in the state since 1966. Two weeks earlier, her conservative allies in Bavaria suffered a similar blow.
But in defeat, the chancellor, who has seemed weak and on the defensive for months, showed the kind of quiet cunning that was once her hallmark by trying to dictate her own exit strategy.
“It was a classic Merkel move,” said Evelyn Roll, a journalist and the author of a Merkel biography. “She has not lost her ability to surprise.”
The conservatives will hold a two-day party conference starting Dec. 6 in Hamburg, where they are due to elect a new executive board and leader. Merkel had repeatedly said that she would run again for the position, but she reversed that stand Monday, telling board members that she would step down.
Merkel said she would seek to remain as chancellor until 2021, when the current legislative terms end, but many analysts and politicians, even in her own party, question whether she will stay in power that long. Her setbacks have emboldened critics in her party, and her governing partners, the Social Democrats, whose recent losses were even worse than those of the conservatives, might pull out of the coalition. That could lead to early elections.
Previously, only relatively unknown conservatives had announced their candidacy for the party leadership. But with Merkel out of the running, the names of possible successors are being floated.
Among those seen as strong contenders are Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the party’s secretary-general, who was tapped this year to help rejuvenate the conservatives and pave the way for a post-Merkel era; Jens Spahn, Merkel’s health minister and one of her strongest critics from the right; and Armin Laschet, governor of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, since June 2017.
Friedrich Merz, a former leader of the conservative group in Parliament who quit the party but remained a staunch critic of the chancellor, indicated Monday that he would run for the position, German news outlets reported.

Related Stories
Billie Eilish condemns German magazine over shirtless cover imageBillie Eilish condemns German magazine over shirtless cover image
Mattis: Trumps troop pullout will lead to disarray in Syria and Isis resurgenceMattis: Trump's troop pullout will lead to 'disarray' in Syria and Isis resurgence
Captains Spilled Coffee Forces Transatlantic Flight To Turn BackCaptain's Spilled Coffee Forces Transatlantic Flight To Turn Back
Meet El Paso’s Punk Rock Border AngelsMeet El Paso’s Punk Rock Border Angels
Tory MPs Less Likely To Help Black People Register To Vote, Study SuggestsTory MPs 'Less Likely' To Help Black People Register To Vote, Study Suggests
AP source: Otto Warmbiers parents to have dinner with TrumpAP source: Otto Warmbier's parents to have dinner with Trump
Euro 2020 qualifying: Northern Ireland v Germany, Scotland v Belgium and more – live!Euro 2020 qualifying: Northern Ireland v Germany, Scotland v Belgium and more – live!
Euro 2020: Germany v Netherlands, Scotland and Wales in action – live!Euro 2020: Germany v Netherlands, Scotland and Wales in action – live!
UK, Germany, France warn on South China Sea tensionsUK, Germany, France warn on South China Sea tensions
Thousands evacuated in Germany as WWII bomb foundThousands evacuated in Germany as WWII bomb found
Latest News
Pete Buttigieg started a pile-on against Elizabeth Warren over how shed pay for Medicare-for-AllPete Buttigieg started a pile-on against Elizabeth Warren over how she'd pay for Medicare-for-All
Missguided Advert Shown During Love Island Banned For Objectifying WomenMissguided Advert Shown During Love Island Banned For 'Objectifying Women'
Tory Split Over Johnson Deal As PM Nears Brussels BreakthroughTory Split Over Johnson Deal As PM Nears Brussels Breakthrough
Gunmen ambush police convoy in Mexico; kill 13 and wound 9Gunmen ambush police convoy in Mexico; kill 13 and wound 9
Trumps hailing of $50 billion in Chinese farm purchases seen as meaninglessTrump's hailing of $50 billion in Chinese farm purchases seen as 'meaningless'
Russia assumes mantle of supreme power broker in Middle East as US retreats from SyriaRussia assumes mantle of supreme power broker in Middle East as US retreats from Syria
Erdogan says Turkey will never declare ceasefire in northern SyriaErdogan says Turkey will never declare ceasefire in northern Syria
Homemade Bomb Detonated for First Time in Hong Kong ProtestsHomemade Bomb Detonated for First Time in Hong Kong Protests
Michigan judge blocks flavored vape ban as Juul faces wrongful death lawsuitMichigan judge blocks flavored vape ban as Juul faces wrongful death lawsuit
School suspends girls, says rape-awareness note was bullyingSchool suspends girls, says rape-awareness note was bullying
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Boris-JohnsonBoris Johnson
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Theresa-MayTheresa May
Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Related Stories
Billie Eilish condemns German magazine over shirtless cover imageBillie Eilish condemns German magazine over shirtless cover image
Mattis: Trumps troop pullout will lead to disarray in Syria and Isis resurgenceMattis: Trump's troop pullout will lead to 'disarray' in Syria and Isis resurgence
Captains Spilled Coffee Forces Transatlantic Flight To Turn BackCaptain's Spilled Coffee Forces Transatlantic Flight To Turn Back
Meet El Paso’s Punk Rock Border AngelsMeet El Paso’s Punk Rock Border Angels
Tory MPs Less Likely To Help Black People Register To Vote, Study SuggestsTory MPs 'Less Likely' To Help Black People Register To Vote, Study Suggests
AP source: Otto Warmbiers parents to have dinner with TrumpAP source: Otto Warmbier's parents to have dinner with Trump
Euro 2020 qualifying: Northern Ireland v Germany, Scotland v Belgium and more – live!Euro 2020 qualifying: Northern Ireland v Germany, Scotland v Belgium and more – live!
Euro 2020: Germany v Netherlands, Scotland and Wales in action – live!Euro 2020: Germany v Netherlands, Scotland and Wales in action – live!
UK, Germany, France warn on South China Sea tensionsUK, Germany, France warn on South China Sea tensions
Thousands evacuated in Germany as WWII bomb foundThousands evacuated in Germany as WWII bomb found
Latest News
Pete Buttigieg started a pile-on against Elizabeth Warren over how shed pay for Medicare-for-AllPete Buttigieg started a pile-on against Elizabeth Warren over how she'd pay for Medicare-for-All
Missguided Advert Shown During Love Island Banned For Objectifying WomenMissguided Advert Shown During Love Island Banned For 'Objectifying Women'
Tory Split Over Johnson Deal As PM Nears Brussels BreakthroughTory Split Over Johnson Deal As PM Nears Brussels Breakthrough
Gunmen ambush police convoy in Mexico; kill 13 and wound 9Gunmen ambush police convoy in Mexico; kill 13 and wound 9
Trumps hailing of $50 billion in Chinese farm purchases seen as meaninglessTrump's hailing of $50 billion in Chinese farm purchases seen as 'meaningless'
Russia assumes mantle of supreme power broker in Middle East as US retreats from SyriaRussia assumes mantle of supreme power broker in Middle East as US retreats from Syria
Erdogan says Turkey will never declare ceasefire in northern SyriaErdogan says Turkey will never declare ceasefire in northern Syria
Homemade Bomb Detonated for First Time in Hong Kong ProtestsHomemade Bomb Detonated for First Time in Hong Kong Protests
Michigan judge blocks flavored vape ban as Juul faces wrongful death lawsuitMichigan judge blocks flavored vape ban as Juul faces wrongful death lawsuit
School suspends girls, says rape-awareness note was bullyingSchool suspends girls, says rape-awareness note was bullying
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Boris-JohnsonBoris Johnson
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Theresa-MayTheresa May
Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Kellyanne Conway snaps after CNN’s John Berman reads her Trump’s divisive statements: ‘You’re cherry picking!’
Luis Suarez scores hat trick as Barcelona thrash Real Madrid in Clasico
Meghan and Harry attend NZ ceremony to mark first votes for women
'I just want to kill Jews:' Documents detail the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre and name the dead
A R7.3 billion replica of the original Titanic could set sail across the Atlantic in 2022
Ross Barkley makes his mark as Chelsea cut down ineffectual Burnley
Meghan Markle Just Shared Her First Official Photo to Twitter — and It's a Proud Wife Moment
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Almost Featured a Big Tribute to Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Cesar Sayoc: The mail bomb suspect who drove a van plastered with Trump stickers
Sadio Mané scores twice as Liverpool ease past Cardiff on way to top
Glenn Hoddle ‘seriously ill’ after collapsing at BT Sport studios
Suspect in custody after ‘multiple casualties’ in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting
1 Month to Mars! NASA's InSight Lander Nearing Red Planet Touchdown
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez are basically Fenway regulars now
Ariana Grande reveals 'the absolute love of my life'
Johnny Depp leaves Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, say reports
NBC reports Megyn Kelly is negotiating her exit from network; would Fox take her back?
Tiffany Haddish slays James Brown impression in Jimmy Fallon's Lip Sync Battle
Suspicious packages addressed to Cory Booker and James Clapper discovered
Man arrested for trying to steal Magna Carta
Ruth Davidson gives birth to baby boy
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket seems to be a hit with satellite companies
'Modern Family' reveals death of a recurring character
Meghan Markle Had a Very Relatable Fashion Moment
Jennifer Garner Is Dating John Miller: 5 Things to Know About Her New Boyfriend
Red Dead Redemption 2 review – gripping western is a near miracle
Sir Philip Green named as man at heart of 'UK #MeToo scandal'
US mail bombs: Suspect packages sent to Robert De Niro and former Vice President Joe Biden
Cardi B trolls Nicki Minaj fans after new song ‘Money’ leaks
NASA May Have Fixed Hubble By Shaking It and Turning It Off and On
Kate Middleton slammed on for 'truly awful' '80s style banquet dress
Megyn Kelly Apologizes On-Air After a Today Colleague Calls Her Blackface Comments 'Indefensible'
Explosive device found near home of billionaire investor George Soros
Suspected bombs sent to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and CNN building: White House condemns 'terrorising acts' as 'despicable'
Vogue Responds to Backlash Over Kendall Jenner's 'Afro' in Recent Photo Shoot
Cardi B – 'Money'
Canadian Rapper Jon James McMurray Dies Filming Airplane Stunt
Amy Schumer Is Pregnant – And We Totally Love How She Announced It
Utah track athlete Lauren McCluskey shot and killed
Megyn Kelly doesn’t understand why blackface is racist
Manchester United v Juventus: Champions League
Dyson to build electric cars in Singapore, with launch planned for 2021
Tommy Robinson: judge refers case to attorney general
Erdogan says Khashoggi was victim of 'ferocious' pre-planned murder
Ariana Grande Posts Tribute to Mac Miller Days After Pete Davidson Breakup
Mars likely to have enough oxygen to support life: study
Simon Mayo Calls Out ‘Appalling’ Abuse Of Jo Whiley After Their Radio 2 Show Is Axed
WWE star Roman Reigns reveals he's battling leukemia again
New York Giants produce another offensive debacle vs. Atlanta Falcons
Meghan Markle wears same dress as Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriend
Meghan Markle Just Broke Another Royal Style Rule with Her Most Daring Look Yet
Ouch! Paula Abdul Falls Offstage During Mississippi Concert
Cristiano Ronaldo: Juventus star sends message to Sir Alex Ferguson before Man Utd return
Watch NASA release 450000 gallons of water in 1 minute
The Surprising Ways Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Marriage Follows Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Why Kim Kardashian Is 'Grateful' for Frightening Robbery in Paris
From Rosa Parks to Van Gogh: when TV takes on real-life figures
Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho delivers bad Alexis Sanchez news ahead of Juventus clash
Hurricane Willa on verge of becoming Category 5 storm off Mexico's Pacific coast
Former Carolina Panther Rae Carruth released from prison
Ariana Grande Enjoys Some Retail Therapy After Pete Davidson Speaks Out About Breakup
'The Walking Dead' Review: 'Warning Signs' Is Bleak, But In A Good Way
Elon Musk says first tunnel for proposed underground transportation network will open in December
Turkish President Erdogan promises to reveal the 'naked truth' about Jamal Khashoggi's death
Florida Governor Candidates Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis Face Off in Contentious Debate
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes torches Bengals for 4 TDs in win
EU approves $7.5 bn acquisition of GitHub by Microsoft
Wayne Rooney scores as DC United beat New York City to reach play-offs
Kanye West surprises Kim Kardashian with early birthday gifts
Meghan Markle’s schedule in Australia cut back
Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes chief reveals Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel US GP concern
Dominic Calvert-Lewin sparks Everton’s late demolition of Crystal Palace
Eric Reid separated from Malcolm Jenkins in pre-game confrontation
Emilia Clarke in pictures: Game of Thrones actress reunites with co-star at Film Festival
Shocking Video of Floor Collapsing During Clemson Univ. Dance Party
Welcome to Space! BepiColombo Spacecraft Headed to Mercury Snap 1st Photo
US To End Cold War-Era Nuclear Arms Treaty With Russia, Trump Says
Lewis Hamilton has been a ruthless phenomenon to treasure
Ryanair refers racist incident to police amid criticism over inaction
Nicole Kidman talks new film at NYC luncheon
Ariana Grande Follows in Taylor Swift's Footsteps and Encourages People to Vote
After 'Resting at Home,' Meghan Markle Steps Out at Reception with Prince Harry — See the Photos!
Selma Blair Reveals She Has MS in Emotional Instagram Post: 'I'm in the Thick of It'
Elon Musk is too ambitious for Tesla's own good
Japanese MotoGP: Marc Marquez clinches world championship with stunning victory
Dodgers set up World Series with Red Sox after Game 7 win over Brewers
Purdue blasts Ohio State, shaking up Big Ten picture
Lakers FIGHT: LeBron James responds to Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul throwing punches
Pete Davidson still has hope for relationship with Ariana Grande
Kim Kardashian Said Marrying Kanye West Made Her A More Private Person, Which Is No Small Feat
Chelsea’s late leveller against Manchester United sparks touchline chaos around Mourinho
BepiColombo Spacecraft Launch on 7-Year Trek to Mercury for Europe and Japan
Hailey Baldwin Trademarks Her Married Name 1 Month After Wedding Ceremony
Lady Gaga Releases 'I'll Never Love Again' Music Video from A Star Is Born with Bradley Cooper
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Have a Blast Playing With Kids at Invictus Games
Katy Perry Commends Taylor Swift for Speaking Out on Politics: 'She's Setting a Great Example'
At charity dinner, Nikki Haley takes jabs at Trump and other political elites
'Making a Murderer Part 2' proves you can't re-create a phenomenon
iPhone XR release TODAY as Apple prices and new deals revealed
‘Luke Cage’ Canceled by Netflix
All’s good with Kawhi as Raptors’ season kicks off
Trump says it appears Khashoggi is dead and consequences could be ‘severe’
Britney Spears Announces ''Domination'' Residency With Parade Through Las Vegas Strip
Ariana Grande 'Focusing on Work' Amid Pete Davidson Split: 'Her Family Is Worried About Her'
Prince Harry climbs Sydney Harbor Bridge to kick off Invictus Games
EU WILL NOT BUDGE: Macron demands 'POLITICAL COMPROMISE' from May - 'It is NOT up to us'
David Beckham Says His and Victoria Beckham's Marriage Is 'Always Hard Work'
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin won't attend investors summit in Saudi Arabia
Meghan and Harry talk baby names on Melbourne tram
Mad cow disease detected at farm in Britain for first time in three years
Keira Knightley, Disney, And How To Deal With Questionable Content In Our Favourite Old Movies
Luke Shaw in advanced talks over new Manchester United contract
'In rehearsals it worked every time': Banksy suggests self-destruct stunt didn't go as planned
'I've never been this excited': first people buy cannabis legally in Canada – video
Oli Herbert dead: All That Remains guitarist 'dies suddenly' aged 44
Netflix's 'Orange Is the New Black' to end after Season 7 in 2019
Wayne Rooney: Did you see former Man Utd star’s STUNNING free-kick for DC United?
Benintendi, Red Sox hold off Astros 8-6 for 3-1 ALCS lead
Ariana Grande Has Made the Smartest Celebrity Social-Media Move: Taking a Break
Stephen Hawking wrote 'there is no God' in his final book. It's not the first time he's shared that belief
Caroll Spinney, Sesame Street's Big Bird, to retire after 50 years
Wembley will not be sold by the FA after Shahid Khan withdraws offer
Ariana Grande quits social media after ‘very sad’ Pete Davidson split
LOL! John Krasinski Pulls a Hilarious Prank on Jimmy Kimmel
Trump Loves This Painting With Past Presidents, Artist Says
Feeling lucky? Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots combined are now more than $1.2 BILLION
Crimea college hit by deadly bomb and shooting attack
Drake Blasts Kanye West and Pusha T in 'The Shop' Interview with LeBron
Melania Trump's Spokesperson Wants Americans To Boycott TI Over New Video
Rain Falls on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Tour Moments After Visiting Drought-Stricken Farm
Ariana Grande opens up about anxiety following split from Pete Davidson: 'Not today Satan'
Trump Jumps to the Defense of Saudi Arabia in Khashoggi Case
YouTube back online after brief outage
Paddington station suffers major disruption after overhead wires damaged
Erdoğan: toxic materials and evidence of repainting found in Saudi consulate
Nicole Kidman Says Being Married to Tom Cruise 'Kept Me from Being Sexually Harassed'
Royal sister-in-law Pippa Middleton gives birth to her first child
Lady Gaga Confirms Engagement as She Calls Christian Carino Her 'Fiancé' in Emotional Speech
Injured Nick Bosa leaves Ohio State to prepare for NFL career
Meghan Markle and Harry in pictures: Meghan beams as she arrives in Australia for tour
Bloodied Aaron Rodgers leads Packers and Crosby to redemption over 49ers
Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, dies aged 65
Everything That Happened in the 126 Days Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson Were Engaged
Hillary Clinton says Bill's affair with Monica Lewinsky was not abuse of power
England vs Spain LIVE STREAM: How to watch UEFA Nations League live online
Harry and Meghan’s baby news is lovely – but it’s a distraction from what the nation really needs
Mac Miller's Death Was Breaking Point for Ariana Grande & Pete Davidson
Stephen Hawking feared race of 'superhumans' able to manipulate their own DNA
Sears, the store that changed America, declares bankruptcy
Trump to Send Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to Discuss Missing Journalist
11 noteworthy moments from Trump's '60 Minutes' interview
Elizabeth Warren releases DNA test suggesting Native American ancestor
Meghan and Harry announce pregnancy with baby due early next year
Prince Harry and Meghan arrive in Sydney for 16-day tour
Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson split
Patriots edge Chiefs in thriller as Brady outduels Mahomes ... for now
Ariana Grande Pulls Out of Cancer Benefit Amid Personal Turmoil
Weekend Box Office: 'First Man' Trails 'A Star Is Born,' 'Venom' With Sluggish $16.5M Launch
Elon Musk says it's time to create a 'mecha' or giant fighting anime robot
27 injured as hurricane Leslie hits Portugal; uproots power lines, trees
Stephen Hawking's last paper on black holes is now online
See All 4 Dazzling New Portraits from Princess Eugenie's Royal Wedding in Exquisite Detail
'Strictly Come Dancing': Stacey Dooley Dominates Leaderboard With Foxtrot Routine
David Davis calls on ministers to rebel against Brexit deal
Novak Djokovic wins Shanghai Masters to continue hunt for Nadal’s No 1 crown
'SNL' Mocks President Trump and Kanye West
Liam Payne Turns On Rita Ora, Radio DJs With 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Reading
Nile Rodgers: 'I kicked drink and drugs after bad gig'
Katie Piper acid attacker Stefan Sylvestre released from prison after nine years
Strictly dance couple face the music in first show after that kiss
Crawford outclasses Benavidez Jr. to keep title
Melania Trump: Donald Trump and I are fine
Pastor Andrew Brunson released to US diplomatic personnel after being detained by Turkish authorities for two years
Hear Usher’s Surprise New Album ‘A’
Usain Bolt scores first two goals in bid to become a professional footballer
Watch Boston Dynamics' humanoid robot leap up massive steps like it's nothing
Director hopes First Man makes moon trip fresh
Windsor welcomes Princess Eugenie for royal wedding redux
Defending champion Philadelphia Eagles make New York Giants look like chumps
BTS’s Jimin To Not Appear On 'The Graham Norton Show' Due To Health Concern
Kanye West defends support for Trump, in front of Trump
Astronauts survive Soyuz rocket emergency landing
Michelle Obama: 'When they go low, we go high' slogan 'absolutely' still stands
Harvey Weinstein: prosecutors in New York drop part of sexual assault case
Doug Ellis, former Aston Villa chairman, dies aged 94
Lady Gaga's Emotional Journey from Bullied Teen to Pop Star to Hollywood's Newest Leading Lady
Who Is Jessie J? 6 Things to Know About the British Singer Dating Channing Tatum
Selena Gomez Seeking Treatment After Emotional Breakdown in Hospital Following 'Tough' Few Weeks
Def Leppard and Stevie Nicks among new nominees for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
NBA news: Kyrie Irving aims sly dig at LeBron James over Celtics trade
Taylor Swift Rules at the American Music Awards 2018: Look What You Made Her Do
Amazon built an AI tool to hire people but had to shut it down because it was discriminating against women
Katie Price Arrested On Suspicion Of Drink Driving After 'Crashing Pink Range Rover Into Bush'
Majorca floods leave at least eight people dead
Michael intensifies, makes landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida: NHC
Ruby Rose Looks Awesome as Batwoman in First Look at the 2018 Arrowverse Crossover
Taylor Swift kicks off the American Music Awards
Counter-extremism chief attacks Tommy Robinson soldier photo
Hurricane Michael is STRONGEST storm in 150 years to hit Florida Panhandle 'WONT survive'
Meghan Markle's Half-Sister Samantha Explains Her Uninvited Visit to Kensington Palace
Close