Praise for Germany's response to the COVID-19 pandemic may play into Chancellor Angela Merkel's hands if she drops her plans to retire and runs for a fifth term, Albert Breininger, a member of Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, told Sputnik
ST. PETERSBURG (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 07th April, 2020) Praise for Germany's response to the COVID-19 pandemic may play into Chancellor Angela Merkel's hands if she drops her plans to retire and runs for a fifth term, Albert Breininger, a member of Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, told Sputnik.
Last week, the Bild newspaper speculated that the chancellor might be running for the fifth term amid her apparent success in handling the coronavirus pandemic in the country which has a very low COVID-19 mortality rate. As of Tuesday, Germany has more than 103,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,800 deaths.
However, On Monday, Merkel's chief of staff told reporters he doubted the chancellor's plans to not to run for another term had changed.
"The longer this quarantine lasts, the more likely Merkel is to be reelected if she decides to run. Нer appeal to the nation amid the pandemic and the fact that the press continues to repeat over and over again that the nation needs to stay strong and united push people to rally around the ruling party. According to the official statistics, Merkel's position has been strengthened," the politician said.
According to Breininger, Bild's article was meant to "test the waters first by seeing how the general public would react to the news of Merkel changing her mind to retire."
"The interesting fact is that the chancellor herself didn't refute the rumors. No one confronted the newspaper or protested against the idea. The opposition in Germany does not have access to the mainstream media, therefore it appeared as if the Germans are ready to explore this idea," he said.
Merkel has led the country for 15 years over four terms, but said she would not seek reelection in fall 2021 since her party was starting to struggle in elections. She stepped down as leader of the CDU party in 2018.