“Angela the Great”, as one magazine dubbed her, looks a near certainty to be re-elected, the main doubt being whether her centre-right coalition gets a new lease of life or she has to govern with the centre-left. Both scenarios are fine with the public, pollsters say, as long as “Angie” stays in charge.
But two recent credible media reports that she will only serve two or three years of a four-year term, denied by Merkel, will make it hard for her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to keep a lid on succession talk for long.
Three potential heirs are widely touted – Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen, Lower Saxony’s ex-premier David McAllister and Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere – though all deny any such ambition. None has Merkel’s command of the party, or her ability to glide over daily politics and win elections.
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