Fri, Dec 9, 2016 | updated 05:05 PM IST

Merkel to run for fourth term as German Chancellor

Updated: Nov 21, 2016 10:54 IST

Berlin [Germany], Nov. 21 (ANI): German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that she will run for a fourth term in next year's crucial national election.

Asserting the complex challenges she will face and "absurd" expectations Germany could take a world leadership role when Barack Obama leaves office, Merkel insisted that the decision was not easy for her to make.

"I have spent an unending amount of time contemplating this, as to stand as a candidate for a fourth time after 11 years in power is anything other than a trivial decision, neither for the country, for the party, nor for me," the Guardian quoted Merkel as saying in a press conference in Berlin on Sunday night.

The Chancellor asserted she wanted to serve Germany ever since she first took up the post in 2005 and added that she has tried to orientate herself according to this principle.

Merkel is regarded worldwide as the most experienced and longest-serving leader in Europe.

Shaping relations with Europe and the United States under Donald Trump, how the European Union will manage a Brexit, the continuing influx of refugees into Europe will be among the major issues that would dominate the German Chancellor's next term.

Assuring her audience that she felt "wide awake and full of ideas", Merkel said the decision would depend on the state of her health.

Merkel, while listing her main challenges, said: "The European Union is currently under great strain, with the euro crisis, with the refugee question, and following the decision of the United Kingdom to want to leave the EU, and with a situation in the world which, to put it delicately, needs to focus itself anew following the elections in America and also regarding the relationship to Russia."

The Chancellor said that she felt ready to run again for the German chancellery under the circumstances. She, however, added: "But I have said very clearly, all that which is connected to the [current situation in the world] especially after the elections in America, that I'm expected to deal with, it's very grounding, but I feel it very strongly as grotesque and downright absurd.

"No person, no person alone, even with a great deal of experience can face the things in Germany, in Europe, in the world ... certainly not a chancellor of Germany," she said.

Speaking to leaders of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Merkel said, "I spent hours and hours wrestling with myself, but took the decision to stand again. The country and the CDU have given me a lot. I would like to give that back - even in what will not be an easy election campaign."

She said she is expecting the election to be a tough one due to the rise of the populist right in Germany in the form of the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and at a time of great polarization.

Merkel said that her goal was to "keep Germany together". (ANI)