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GERMANY: Merkel to step down as chancellor in 2021

Germany’s Angela Merkel has said 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.

She also said she would not seek re-election as leader of the centre-right CDU party in December. She has held the post since 2000.

The CDU was severely weakened in Sunday’s poll in the state of Hesse, the latest in a series of setbacks.

The election comes just weeks after Mrs Merkel’s Bavarian sister party, the CSU, suffered huge losses in a state parliament vote.

Mrs Merkel said she took “full responsibility” for poor performance.

“As chancellor and leader of the CDU I’m politically responsible for everything, for successes and for failures,” she said.

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