Germany’s Merkel Says Will Not Interfere in Dispute Over Possible Successor

BERLIN (Sputnik) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Tuesday that she will not interfere in discussions concerning a chancellor candidate from the ruling conservative bloc ahead of the upcoming Bundestag elections.

“You were right: I did not plan to, and still do not, and will not interfere,” Merkel said at a press conference, when asked whether the dispute within the conservative bloc would negatively affect the election campaign.

Elections to the German Bundestag are set for September 26, after which a new government will be formed. Merkel, chancellor of 16 years, has repeatedly said she will not stay for another term in office. The conservative bloc, consisting of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU), has been struggling to pick Merkel’s successor as the parties stand by their respective leaders, Armin Laschet and Markus Soeder.

The situation in the conservative bloc is all the more precarious as the CDU/CSU is currently polling about 27 percent, but is very closely followed by the Green party, which has about 21 percent of the public support. Both Soeder and Laschet have urged the CDU/CSU to hold consultations and consolidate their position.

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