Will Merkel run for a fourth term?
In a televised interview German Chancellor Angel Merkel left open the question of whether she will run as her party's candidate for chancellor in 2017 saying she would announce her decision "in due time", a formulation she has often used in the past. Merkel's hesitant stance testifies to the erosion of her power, commentators believe, and call on the chancellor to clarify her position as quickly as possible.
Chancellor's strategy has had its day
Angela Merkel's delay in declaring whether she will run for a fourth term of office illustrates a general political leadership crisis, Journal 21 believes:
“In the days when Merkel could bask in her own popularity, she wasn't a decider but an avoider. She moderated crises but avoided taking tough decisions so as not to be held responsible for the immediate consequences. ... With the massive arrival of refugees on Germany's borders last year this game came to an end. But there too, rather than taking a decision she opted to pass the buck with her slogan 'We can do it'. But is this really about Merkel? Is she not a symptom of a general crisis of political leadership? Yes, a growing number of demagogues have appeared on the scene. But if you look around for politicians whose names you can associate with well-thought-out and convincing political alternatives, you won't find any as far as your eyes can see.”
Successful Merkel caught in downwards spiral
German Chancellor Angela Merkel should not wait too long with her decision to run for re-election, the centre-left daily Der Standard concurs:
“Only 42 percent of Germans want Merkel to stay in office for a fourth term. Spoiled by success for so long, she is now caught up in a kind of downwards spiral. She sees her support crumbling and is postponing the decision about running for a fourth term. It doesn't have to be today or tomorrow, but Merkel can't afford to wait much longer. The challenge Germany faces is so huge that clarity is needed on this point very soon. Strategising and waiting would hurt Merkel (even more) than the person who replaces her if she can't or doesn't want to run.”