Germany’s Angela Merkel has said she will step down as chancellor in 2021, following recent election setbacks.
“I will not be seeking any political post after my term ends,” she told a news conference in Berlin.
She also said she would not seek re-election as leader of the centre-right CDU party in December. She has held the post since 2000, bbc.co.uk reports.
The CDU was severely weakened in Sunday’s poll in the state of Hesse, the latest in a series of setbacks.
Both the CDU and its national coalition partners, the Social Democrats, were 10 percentage points down on the previous poll there.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Deomcratic Union (CDU) and their Social Democrat (SPD) coalition allies in Berlin have both haemorrhaged support in the Hesse regional elections. The results mean a heavy blow to the power of the national government.
Merkel’s conservatives managed to secure the top spot among competitors, but with just 28 percent of the vote, an exit poll for broadcaster ARD revealed.
This was a full 10 percent drop from the previous 38.3 percent the CDU secured in the 2013 Hesse elections.
The SPD lost similar ground, polling at 20 percent, down from 30.7 percent in 2013, express.co.uk reports.
Ecologist party the Greens were up more than eight percent from 11.1 percent in 2013, now at 19.5 percent, in third place.