“Would she consider running again?” an interviewer for public broadcaster ZDF asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday.
“No, no. Really not,” came the reply.
Pressed on whether her decision to only serve out her current term still stands, Merkel replied: “Very firmly.”
Merkel, who became chancellor in 2005 and is now 65, in late 2018 relinquished her parallel post of Christian Democrat (CDU) party chairperson for Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, now Germany’s defense minister.
Kramp-Karrenbauer, however, struggled as chairperson to impose her authority and announced last February that she too would not run for chancellor.
The CDU’s leadership search, delayed by the coronavirus crisis, remains in abeyance, with internal decisions not expected before late this year.
In early May, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that Merkel’s “strong” leadership through the pandemic had fueled speculation she might seek a 5th term.
Germany’s next federal parliamentary elections are expected in the third quarter of 2021, by October 24 at the latest.
ipj/rt (AP, Reuters)