Angela Merkel has announced that she will be seeking a fourth term as Chancellor of Germany in the elections due to take pace in 2017.
Merkel told her party, the Christan Democratic Union (CDU) that she expected the campaign to be her toughest yet and vowed to “fight for our values and our way of life”.
The 2017 election is due to be held after four years of coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Merkel has been in office since 2005 and while her popularity ratings have slipped from their all-time high, she still retains wide support across the country. A poll from one Sunday newspaper suggested that 55% of Germans would still vote for her.
2017 is expected to see a tough campaign with increasing opposition from the populist anti-Muslim and right-wing AfD (Alternative fuer Deutschland) party and the left of the political spectrum.
Merkel acknowledged that immigration was a main reason for her decline in popularity. In 2015 more than 1 million immigrants entered Germany prompting her to accept responsibility for the defeat of the CDU in some German states and conceding that her open-door policy towards immigration had been a major factor.