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Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel reelected chairman of Christian Democratic Union

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-07 00:47

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday was reelected chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) at the annual convention of the party with a support rate of 89.5 percent, paving the way for her to seek a new term of chancellorship.

Merkel announced her decision to stand in next year's elections for a fourth term in Berlin on Dec 20, saying that her motivation was based on serving Germany.

"I told the CDU that I was ready to stand again," she said to the media when announcing her candidacy. "This election will be even more difficult than those we have had before as we are facing a strong polarisation" in the community, she added.

The announcement ended months of speculation at a time when Europe is plunged into uncertainty among rising populism.

But the 89.5 percent support rate she got at the convention in Essen was the second lowest for her to be elected chairman of the center-right party, only slightly higher than the 88.4 percent in 2004.

During her stay in Essen, Merkel reportedly criticized populists for attempting to exploit Germany's refugees influx, but vowed at the same time there would be no repeat of massive refugee arrivals as what happened last year.

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