German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that she sees “many more opportunities than risks” in her plan to hand over the leadership of her party at a December congress.
Merkel said she ultimately bears the responsibility for her fourth-term government’s poor start and there need to be changes. She said Monday that it’s “time to start a new chapter.”
Merkel plans to remain chancellor for the rest of this parliamentary term, which ends in 2021, but said she won’t then run again and won’t seek any other political office.
She aims to give her conservative Christian Democratic Union party the opportunity for renewal while keeping the reins of government.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn is reportedly throwing his name into the hat as a candidate to succeed Merkel as leader of the party.
The ambitious young conservative and sometime critic of Merkel was named health minister in March in what was seen as a desire by the chancellor to integrate critics into her government.
The dpa news agency, without citing its sources, reported Monday the 38-year-old told a leadership meeting of the CDU he plans to run for party leader at a congress in December.
Spahn has been a leading advocate of the Christian Democrats building a sharper conservative profile that contrasts with Merkel’s centrist approach. He has taken a tough line on Germany’s approach to integrating immigrants.