Angela Merkel won't seek re-election as CDU party leader - German media

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a news conference following the Hesse state election in Berlin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) that she will not be running for re-election as it's chairwoman in December according to sources on Monday.

Merkel, 64, has been CDU chairwoman since 2000 and giving up the role would start a race within the party to succeed her as chancellor.

"I won't seek any further political offices", she added.

She said her party would insist on Merkel's governing coalition agreeing on "a clear, binding timetable" for implementing projects, and that how that is implemented ahead of an already-agreed midterm review next fall will show "whether we are still in the right place in this government".

Five years after these photos were taken, Mrs Merkel would be elected leader of her country and eventually become known as the most powerful woman in the world.

The exit poll for broadcaster ARD showed only 13 percent of CDU voters believed Merkel had helped the party in Hesse, down from 70 percent at the last state election, reflecting voter anger at her decision in 2015 to welcome nearly one million, mainly Muslim asylum seekers.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's junior coalition partners gave her conservatives until next year to deliver more policy results, threatening to end their alliance if there is no improvement after both parties suffered in a regional election on Sunday.

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Merkel's CDU came first in Sunday's election in the western state of Hesse but support fell by more than 11 points, reigniting a succession debate by conservatives unhappy with the chancellor's grip on power. The reports have followed the CDU/CSU fiasco in the regional elections in Bavaria and Hesse.

In last year's general election Ms Merkel saw a drop in support and was forced to form a coalition with the centre-left Social Democrats following an inconclusive result. That's two-thirds of the party's 2013 result and its worst showing since 1946.

Political commentators believe if she split the two positions it would leave her sitting as a lame duck and it is unclear how long she could survive.

At the weekend, the CDU performed poorly in the elections in the central German state of Hesse.

After 13 years with Merkel at the helm, majority in coalition with the SPD, many Germans are exhausted of government by carefully-crafted compromise, calling instead for clear direction on pressing policy issues like migration, security, reform of the European Union and climate change.

She allowed large numbers of asylum-seekers into Germany in 2015, many fleeing the fighting in Syria, declaring that "we will manage it", before gradually pivoting to a more restrictive approach.

She has since defended her decision, saying she would make the decision "the same way again".

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