Germany’s Angela Merkel says 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.
Her CDU party was severely weakened in elections in the state of Hesse on Sunday, the latest poor performance by parties in her coalition government.
She also said she would not seek reelection as CDU leader in December. She has held the post since 2000.
She said she took “full responsibility” for recent election setbacks.
In Hesse, both her centre-right CDU and its coalition partners, the Social Democrats, were 10% down on the previous poll there – even though they remain in power.
The election comes just weeks after Mrs Merkel’s Bavarian sister party, the CSU, suffered huge losses in a state parliament vote.
Parties like the AfD and the Greens have grown in national support following Germany’s 2017 general election, as support for the major centre parties has waned.
Angela Merkel to step down as German chancellor in 2021