On the 29th October, Angela Merkel, who has served as Germany’s chancellor (the German equivalent of a prime minister) since 2005 and was twice named named second most powerful person in the world after the Kremlin Vladimir Putin, declared that she would be stepping down in December 2019, as the head of the centre-right party Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
The announcement was made one day after the regional elections; the CDU won the vote with 26% but has lost 11% since 2013, which is a huge loss of support. In her speech, she took full responsibility for the poor performance. The rival AfD, however, a far right anti-immigration party, and the left-leaning Greens have been gaining support rapidly.
Mrs Merkel also stated that she would not pick her successor and would leave it up to her party to democratically elect the next leader.
The German chancellor’s time in office has seen three American presidents, and four different leaders from France and Britain. Her retirement in politics will probably worsen the stability of Europe at this time.
Her political career started after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 when she joined the Democratic Awakening and quickly rose to power to become the lead spokesperson.