Angela Merkel announces she will run for fourth term as German Chancellor

If Merkel wins the election and serves out a full term, it would match the record set by former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who was at the helm when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. But victory would mean hard new challenges for Merkel - most importantly how to move forward with Britain's vote to exit from the European Union without tearing the bloc apart.

"From her perspective this election will be about showing to Germans why it's so important they vote for somebody they can recognise as being a leader both in their country, but also someone the world sees as a person of real stature - who has been in charge of Germany, who has played such a central role in Europe, and indeed across the world", Kane said. "She is, as it were, the anti-Trump", party ally Stanislaw Tillich, premier of the state of Saxony, told the RND newspaper group.

One of the world's most powerful leaders has announced her decision to run for office again. "This election will be even more hard than those we have had before as we are facing a strong polarization".

The push from Brussels, where Germany has tried to foist its fiscal discipline on other European Union members, signals the limits of Merkel's capacity to lead in Europe, where her open-door migrant policy has proved especially unpopular with eastern neighbours.

The politician has seen high popularity during her premiership, with many Germans affectionately referring to her as "Mutti" or mother, but she has struggled to fight the rising tide of anti-immigration feeling since she allowed over a million refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East to settle in the country.

"But those that belong purportedly to certain groups say, "We are the people, and not the others" - that is something that we can not allow to happen". She acknowledged, though, that "this election will be hard like no other election since reunification" - the joining of the communist East with West Germany in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Today, Deutsche Welle quotes the chancellor calling the recent US campaign season "grotesque".

Merkel had long refused to be drawn on her plans for the general election, expected in September or October 2017, saying only that she would make the announcement "at the appropriate time". "She is somebody to rally allies and partners around this or that decision", said Dr. Joerg Forbrig, a senior fellow based in Berlin at the think tank The German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Despite the challenges she faces, Merkel has long held the nickname "Mutti" - the mother of Germany.

Criticism also came from other commentators who groaned at the thought of more-of-the-same after Merkel pledged to "work for more cooperation in this country", bolster the pension system and push on with the digital revolution.

It was U.S. President Barack Obama who over the past few years delegated increasing authority and responsibility to Merkel.

"It is my understanding that I will run in 2017 as a candidate for the elections". However, the German leader dismissed such characterizations about her after Trump's win as "grotesque and downright absurd".

Her current junior partners in the unhappy grand coalition, the Social Democrats (SPD), are flirting with the idea of a leftist alliance with two current opposition parties.

The SPD has not decided whether its chairman Sigmar Gabriel, Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister, will run against Merkel.

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