Merkel says stepping down as CDU leader wants to weaken her on world stage

Merkel says stepping down as CDU leader wants to weaken her on world stage

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel Christian Democrats would not come here for the future. President Donald Trump or Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a news conference with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (not pictured) at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, October 30, 2018. REUTERS / Hannibal Hanschke

Speaking at a news conference next Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who was in Berlin for a summit on Africa, Merkel said her decision not to contest the party leadership election would give her more time to grapple with issues.

"I do not believe that anything will change about the negotiating position in international negotiations – one can even say I have more time to concentrate on my tasks than the head of government," she said on Tuesday.

Manfred Weber, Germany's candidate for the European People's Party (EPP) lead candidate to replace European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said Angela Merkel's decision could not be a visionary agenda for Europe.

Weber, a member of the Bavarian CSU conservative party, told broadcaster ZDF that Merkel had long been a strong voice for Europe, and she could now amplify her leadership role.

Many political experts say the politics of the domestic politics have kept Merkel from moving forward more on a European law proposal by French President Emmanuel Macron.

"There's a chance that they can lead without the pressure that's all," Weber said. "We must have the courage to look beyond the vagaries of our daily politics and to be a bit visionary because the next years and decades will not be pleasant for our continent."

Weber, a possible contender for the CSU, said it was needed for the party after it lost its absolute majority in regional elections on Oct. 14th

Current party leader Horst Seehofer, who also serves as interior minister, would present proposals in mid-November, with a special party congruent to follow that would decide on the leadership of the party, Weber said.

"Things can not go on as before. We do need to work through the election results, "he said.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Michelle Martin and Richard Chang

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