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Merkel Had to Quit Leadership Race Due to Loss of Support Within CDU - Lawmaker

© Sputnik / Alexey VitvitskyGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel - Sputnik International
ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has effectively been forced to drop out of the race for the leadership of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party after losing support of its members and reputation, Alexander Neu, a member of the federal parliament, told Sputnik.

Merkel said on Monday she would not run for re-election as the CDU leadership in December and would step down as federal chancellor in 2021. The announcement followed dramatic losses by the CDU and its Bavarian sister party SPD in two state elections.

"She lost a lot of support within her own party and reputation. She will be chancellor but she won’t be the leader. She doesn’t have any choice and she doesn’t have support any longer," the lawmaker with the far-left Die Linke party said.

German Chancellor and head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel addresses a news conference after a meeting at the International Trade Fair in Munich, Germany, February 26, 2016. - Sputnik International
'Germans Waking Up, Turning Away From Merkel's CDU by the Millions' – Politician
Neu predicted that CDU and SPD — the so-called big parties now forming the governing coalition in Berlin — would slip further in the polls, while populist parties continue to make gains.

"At the moment, the populist parties [are on] the rise, big parties are losing support and I believe that in 6-8 years majority of the parties will have in average 6-8 percent. The big parties will lose even more in the future," he suggested.

READ MORE: From 'Pity' to Resignation Demands: Germany Rocked by Decline of Merkel Era

At the same time, the lawmaker noted that he was not fully satisfied with Die Linke's result in Sunday’s election to the Hesse parliament. The party gained 1.1 points to 6.3 percent.

"One percent for The Left party is by far not enough," Neu noted.

The Social Democratic Party, Merkel’s coalition partners, suffered significant losses in both state elections in October, prompting a threat from its leader, Andrea Nahles, to quit the federal government. The Green party emerged as the biggest winner, followed by the far-right populist Alternative for Germany (AfD), which is now represented in all regional parliaments.

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