Chancellor Angela Merkel may decide to seek a fourth term when Germany gets closer to its next federal election, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said.
“Mrs. Merkel is successful,” de Maiziere, who has served the chancellor in cabinet-level posts since she came to power in 2005, said in an interview. “Why shouldn’t that continue?”
Six months after Merkel, 59, set up her third-term coalition, questions about whether she’ll run again “aren’t an issue” right now, de Maiziere said yesterday when asked whether she would seek re-election. Germany’s next national vote must be held by 2017 and Merkel would have a chance to beat Helmut Kohl’s 16 years in power between 1982 and 1998.
Merkel has alternated with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier as Germany’s most popular politician in polls of eligible voters this year. Her government denied a report in the Luxemburger Wort newspaper in May that she wants to become the next UN secretary-general in 2017.
Thomas de Maiziere was chief of staff in Merkel’s chancellery between 2005 and 2009 and also served as her defense minister. A member of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, he knows the chancellor from around the time she entered politics in 1990, when Merkel was deputy spokeswoman for his cousin Lothar de Maiziere, East Germany’s first and last freely elected premier.