German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian allies will back her if she decides to run for a fourth term in 2017, a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU) said on Saturday, signalling a possible end of a row over migration among conservatives.
“Angela Merkel is our candidate,” CSU deputy leader Manfred Weber toldSpiegel magazine. “There is no doubt about that. I wish this declaration would come fast – from her and from us.”
Some 220,000 asylum seekers entered Germany in the first half of this year. Senior allies of Merkel have been indicating that they expect her to run for a fourth term in 2017 even though her popularity has dipped over the refugee crisis.
Merkel, 62, who has been chancellor since 2005, has repeatedly declined to comment on whether she will run in 2017, saying only that she will make her intentions clear in due course. In September she said she was still motivated.