Speculation grows over Angela Merkel’s future as she steps back from campaigning

Angela Merkel is facing renewed speculation over her future after it emerged she will not take part in campaigning for next month’s European parliament elections or German regional elections later this year.

The veteran German chancellor has no plans to appear on the campaign trail and she will not feature in election posters or material for her Christian Democrat party (CDU).

The move is a dramatic departure for Mrs Merkel, who was long viewed as the party’s strongest electoral asset.

She stood down as CDU leader last year and has reportedly made clear that she wants a new generation to take on the mantle of campaigning.

She is said to have told senior party figures at a meeting last week she feels it is incumbent on her to take a less prominent role after handing over control of the party.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's career, in pictures

The decision has prompted questions over how long she will be able to remain chancellor. She has said she wants to see out her current term, which ends in 2021. But it is far from clear if her fragile coalition will last that long, and some believe she may choose to bow out sooner.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who succeeded Mrs Merkel as CDU leader last year, is expected to take a prominent role in election campaigns, and there is growing speculation over whether she will make a bid for the chancellorship.

But the general consensus is that neither Mrs Merkel nor Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer will make a move before the results of the European elections and regional votes in several German states are known.

Mrs Merkel’s future may come down to how well both the CDU and its main coalition partner, the centre-Left Social Democrats (SPD), perform at the ballot box. If the SPD does badly it could withdraw from her coalition and force new national elections or a change of chancellor.

Mrs Merkel’s decision to sit out the European campaign is a blow to Manfred Weber, the lead candidate of the powerful European People’s Party bloc (EPP), to which the CDU belongs.

Mrs Merkel is one of Mr Weber’s most important backers in his bid to become the next head of the European Commission.

“She is campaigning. She is campaigning with me throughout Europe,” he insisted to Bild newspaper. “She has decided in consulation with us that the party leaders should carry the campaign in Germany."

Click Here: camiseta seleccion argentina