The next Chancellor of Germany won't be the current leader of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, after she ruled herself out of running on Monday (February 10).
Once seen as Merkel's natural successor, she has faced growing doubts over her ability and credibility.
Kramp-Karrenbauer, who narrowly won a vote in December 2018 to lead the CDU, went on to add that she would remain party chair until another candidate is found.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) CDU LEADER, ANNEGRET KRAMP-KARRENBAUER, SAYING: "As far as I am concerned this has no impact on the stability of the grand coalition government.
I was the party leader and I am the party leader and I will remain in this position for the foreseeable future.
What I have said is that I will not run for chancellor but other than that, the situation has not changed." Shortly after the announcment, her political rivals Friedrich Merz and Jens Spahn began making their case to replace Kramp-Karrenbauer.
However, she also made it clear she would remain defense minister until the end of this legislative period, which is due to run until autumn 2021.