GERMANY – Current German Chancellor Angela Merkel has recently announced that she will be running for a fourth term in office as head of state. At a press conference held to announce the decision, Merkel confirmed she would be running as leader of the Christian Democratic Union party.

The election is due for late 2017, with Merkel’s decision one that was seen as likely for the popular politician.

Merkel is often described as one of the most powerful women in the world, and regarded as a popular leader in both the international and domestic spheres, boasting a nearly 60% approval rate among German voters.

In the press conference Merkel described her decision as ‘anything but trivial’ as she faces potent challenges from far right parties in Germany that are particularly unhappy with her ‘open – door’ policy towards migrants and asylum seekers from war torn nations.

Germany is one of the most important and influential countries in European Union as well as in international affairs and thus the position is extremely covered and powerful.

The decision has been a source of relief for some who believe Merkel’s presence provides a sense of stability and familiarity after the surprise exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union and recent election of Donald Trump to the US presidency.

Merkel is set to face a number of domestic and international issues in the fight for re-election, as Germany struggles to deal with an increasingly divided society that has faced terror attacks and dealt with the hardships of a large influx of migrants.

In the press conference Merkel was aware of these issues stating this election would be ‘unlike any other’ as she faced challenges from the left and right side of politics. While her so called ‘open door’ policy towards migrants as been a source for criticism; many see Merkel as a defiant stand for liberal values in the face of far right movements that have spread across Europe and the US.

However the year ahead will be tough as she navigates the weight of Europe’s problems in relations with Russia, war in Syria and Britian’s exit from the European Union.

The election is expected to take place in August or October 2017.

– Anusha Muller, Correspondent (Politics)