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Germany's Merkel to step down in 2021

Merkel
Photo: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Embattled German Chancellor Angela Merkel will not run for re-election in 2021 and will step down in December as chairwoman of her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), she announced in a press conference Monday.

The big picture: Merkel has served as chancellor of Germany since 2005 and head of the CDU since 2000. Her decision comes after significant losses by the CDU and its coalition partners during recent state elections in Bavaria and Hesse, where the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and liberal Greens have chipped away at the coalition's ruling majority.

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