Angela Merkel, Germany’s current centre-right Chancellor, has announced her bid for a fourth term, promising to stand for openness and free trade whilst resisting populism espoused by Donald Trump’s recent election success. Merkel has urged Germany to resist isolationism, heavily criticising Trump’s decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Following the US election result, the Chancellor has been hailed as the West’s liberal champion.
Merkel has been in office since 2005, and despite the fact that poll ratings have recently slipped, she retains wide support. In September, the Chancellor accepted responsibility for election defeats for her party in several states and blamed her open-door policy towards migrants. Challenges to her campaign include the populist right-wing AID party. She has acknowledged that this campaign would be her toughest yet and promised to “fight for our values and our way of life“.
If Merkel wins next year’s election- which is due to take place between August and October 2017, she will equal post-war record set by Helmut Kohl, who was Chancellor between 1982 and 1998. The Business Standard have claimed that despite the fact she has made some unpopular decisions, “she is, to many, the antithesis of Donald Trump.”