, BERLIN, Apr 18 – German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to serve out a full term until 2017 if her conservative party wins elections later this year, she said in an interview published Thursday.
Asked whether she would then seek another term, she was non-committal, telling the top-selling Bild daily: “You know well that I only decide on issues when the time comes.”
Merkel, often voted Germany’s most popular politician for her no-nonsense leadership style, faces elections on September 22.
Her conservatives are leading in the polls against their chief rivals, the Social Democrats, who aim to form a coalition with the Greens.
A book published this week by Bild’s political editor said that if her alliance wins again, Merkel may decide to bow out as leader of Europe’s biggest economy by late 2015, but Merkel denied this.
“No, I have always, when I have sought a post, seriously examined what exactly that would mean for me personally in the future,” she was quoted as saying. “And I have done so again this time.
“I want to continue the Christian-liberal coalition and continue to work as chancellor throughout the next term for our country and people,” she said, referring to her Christian Union alliance and the pro-business Free Democrats.
She said she didn’t want to rest on her laurels, telling the daily: “In Germany a party doesn’t win an election because of one person, or out of gratitude for the achievements of the past four years.
“In a federal election, millions of people make choices on how they expect government will impact their lives. They ask themselves what the election means for their family, their job and their country. I want the CDU to give them convincing answers to these questions.”