Merkel May Weigh In on Political Future After CDU Meeting Sunday

  • Chancellor to hold press conference after first day of meeting
  • Bid for party leadership would set course for re-election run

Chancellor Angela Merkel may outline her political future on Sunday as senior officials in her party await a decision on whether she’ll run for a fourth term as German leader.

Merkel will give a press conference at 7 p.m. in Berlin after the first day of a board meeting of her Christian Democratic Union to prepare for the party’s congress in early December. Michael Fuchs, a deputy CDU caucus leader, told Bloomberg Television Thursday that Merkel will run again as chairwoman at the Dec. 5-6 congress “as far as I know.”

Angela Merkel in Berlin on Nov. 18.

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Party officials in recent days have said Merkel is likely to give some indication of her thinking on re-election at the weekend meeting of top party officials. While the chancellor has remained mum amid the swirling speculation, Merkel herself has said the party leader should also be chancellor candidate, meaning a renewed bid as chairwoman would be a de facto declaration of her intention to run again in next year’s national election.

Donald Trump’s election to the U.S. presidency has thrust attention on whether Merkel, 62, will seek to defend her position as Europe’s preeminent leader. Outgoing President Barack Obama offered his own endorsement, departing from protocol during a two-day visit to Berlin to express his support.

"If I were German and I had a vote, I might support her," Obama said. "But I don’t know whether that hurts or helps.”

Merkel has been chancellor since she ousted Gerhard Schroeder in Germany’s 2005 election. She became CDU chairwoman in the wake of a party-finance scandal in 2000, when she replaced her current finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, at the head of the party.

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