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German Government Rejects Report Merkel to Step Down in 2015

The German government said that Chancellor Angela Merkel intended to serve out a full four-year term if she won federal elections on Sept. 22, rejecting a newspaper report that she planned to step down early.

Merkel, who took office in November 2005, has told confidants that 10 years is the maximum a chancellor can tolerate, Germany’s biggest-selling Bild newspaper reported today, citing extracts from a Merkel biography by its chief political columnist, Nikolaus Blome. It didn’t give a source for the story.

As a minister, Merkel urged former Chancellor Helmut Kohl to prepare a successor and regarded his failed bid to win a record sixth term in 1998 as a mistake, Bild said. She is also tempted by the prospect of becoming the first chancellor of the post-World War II period to leave without being voted out of office or being deserted by her own party, it reported.

“Naturally, the chancellor will run for a full term of office in the parliamentary election in September,” Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s chief spokesman, told reporters at a regular government press conference in Berlin today.

Support for Merkel’s coalition parties rose to a combined 47 percent in a weekly Forsa poll published April 10, the highest level since January 2010, giving her a clear majority for the first time in more than three years.

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