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article imageMerkel to give up CDU chair after 18 years: party source

By AFP     Oct 29, 2018 in Politics

Chancellor Angela Merkel will not stand again as leader of her centre-right CDU, a party source told AFP Monday, a clear sign that the German leader is preparing for her eventual succession after a series of regional vote defeats.

National news agency DPA said she planned to remain chancellor even as she gives up the top party job.

"She will not stand again for the chairmanship of her party" when it meets at a congress in December to elect a new leader, said the source within the Christian Democratic Union.

Merkel has chaired the CDU for 18 years and has until now insisted that the presidency of the party went hand in hand with the chancellorship post.

In power as chancellor for 13 years, Merkel has become greatly weakened since last year's general election, when voters handed her an inconclusive result that forced her to form an uneasy coalition with the centre-left Social Democrats.

Over the last two weeks, voters in the states of Hesse and Bavaria also punished her party and coalition allies CSU and SPD in two separate regional elections.

Merkel is due to hold a press conference at 1 pm (12 GMT).

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