Does Merkel give up power?

Does Merkel give up power?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told leaders of her conservatives that she will not seek re-election as party chairwoman, senior party sources said, heralding the end of a 13-year era in which she has dominated European politics.

Merkel said she wants to serve her full term as German chancellor until 2021, Reuters reported.

She also said she would not seek reelection as chancellor or as a conservative lawmaker in the Bundestag parliament after her term ends, party sources said.

Merkel has been chairwoman of her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) since 2000 and chancellor since 2005. Party sources said Merkel wants to remain chancellor until 2021, when the next federal election is due.

Director of the Institute of Strategic Planning and Forecasting, Professor Alexander Gusev, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Angela Merkel was not going to be re-elected for the fifth time,so now she can start to gradually withdraw from power. "There is no political crisis in Germany now, Steinmeier became president, and Merkel was elected federal chancellor for the last time, and this configuration is likely to continue for the next four years. Merkel will not participate in the next elections, therefore she needs to prepare a successor who should to be the chairman of the CDU. The successor, in turn, needs time to declare about himself, raise the party rating, so Angela Merkel leaves this office on time," he explained.

Since we are talking about a successor, we should not expect that Angela Merkel's resignation will change anything significant in relations between Germany and Russia. “So far, this resignation from the post of the CDU chairman mean nothing, because Merkel will remain Chancellor for four years. She is no longer participating in debates in the Bundestag. Even her fourth term was strange for many people in Germany, and the fifth term would be something out of the ordinary. Therefore, everyone is well aware that she is making a very important political step, freeing up space for the future political leader of Germany," Alexander Gusev added.

The senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Olenchenko, regards this to be Merkel's new political maneuver. “I think this is due to the fact that a series of elections was held in Germany, the first was held in Bavaria and it was disappointing both for the CDU and the CSU. The popularity of the Alternative for Germany party has noticeably increased, and many believe that Merkel plays a negative role here because the immigration policy in Germany is unpopular. It seems to me that she thinks that her departure from the position of the CDU chairman will increase the popularity of her party. And it does not mean that she leaves politics, Merkel just should end her association with the party, because she led it for already 18 years," he said.

Vladimir Olenchenko also does not expect that Merkel's resignation will change anything in Russian-German relations. "It is unlikely that it will affect anything, because we don’t have interparty relations with her. If we are talking about interstate relations, they are fulfilled by the chancellor and our president. She remains the chancellor, her status does not change," the senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences stressed.


Vestnik Kavkaza

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