Angela Merkel spends her 5,144th day today as he Germany’s Chancellor. That could make her the second longest-serving Chancellor in modern Germany if she has to stay in office for a further 726 days to beat Helmut Kohl’s 5,869-day record.
Angela Merkel could overtake one of the greatest figures in post-war European history, Helmut Kohl, in terms of longevity of political leadership. In fact, Mr Kohl was that person who groomed Merkel for power, and she proved her abilities to run the European country.
However, the 65-year-old Merkel confirmed last year that she will retire from politics at the next election, saying she “will not run again as CDU candidate”. Stability is key in German politics – Merkel is just the eighth Chancellor of the post-war period.
Mrs Merkel would have to stay in office for a further 726 days to beat Helmut Kohl’s 5,869-day rule. But. according to Merkel herself, she definitely won’t be in office on December 17th 2021, the date of her possible record.
The only scenario under which she would overtake Mr Kohl were if she had to stay on in a caretaker capacity while the parties in Germany’s fragmented political system hammer out a coalition deal over several months.
Merkel as the strongest leader has benefited from the hard work her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder put in modernising the welfare system, and her own talent for building big-tent coalitions combining left-wing social reforms with conservative economic policies.
For Germany, Angela Merkel’s time in power will definitely be remembered as a time of unprecedented economic stability, as well as the era in which a far-Right party (the Alternative for Germany) became a serious force in German politics for the first time since the WWII.