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11 February, 2018
Merkel insists she intends to stay in power until 2021
Photo: German Chancellor Angela Merkel walks out of her office to meet the President of the German Horticultural Association in the chancellery in Berlin on February 9, 2018 | John MacDougall/AFP via Getty Images
Angela Merkel said she intends to stay in power until 2021, the end of the legislative period, as long as the Social Democrats (SPD) are on board.
“I am one of those people who sticks to what they promise,” Merkel said in a TV interview with broadcaster ZDF on Sunday.
Merkel’s CDU/CSU bloc reached a deal for a new government with the SPD on Wednesday, setting the stage for a fourth term as chancellor for Merkel, but the SPD’s 463,000 party members must still sign off on the pact in a special ballot. The vote is expected to take until early March to complete.
If the Social Democrats’ members do not vote to back the coalition deal and Germany is forced to hold a new election, Merkel said she does not rule out again seeking another term as chancellor.
Merkel also described leaving the finance minister post to the SPD as a “painful” but “acceptable” price paid by her CDU party to form a coalition government.
“The alternative would have been that we would have had to tell people that we had a coalition agreement on the matter, but we could not agree on the ministries, which was not responsible,” she said.
Merkel denied that she has lost authority inside her own party, despite having faced some unrest within her conservative ranks over the coalition deal.
The CDU leader also said that the names of the six ministers from her party in the new government will be announced by the party congress on February 26.