Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel has said she will step down from her position in 2021, following recent election setbacks, BBC reports.
Merkel has said she would not seek re-election as party chairwoman and that her fourth term as chancellor would be her last.
The decision heralds the end of a 13-year era in which she has dominated European politics.
Ms Merkel, 64, has been chairwoman of her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) since 2000 and chancellor since 2005.
“I will not be seeking any political post after my term ends,” she told a news conference in Berlin.
She also said she would not seek re-election as leader of the centre-right CDU party in December. She has held the post since 2000.
The CDU was severely weakened in Sunday’s poll in the state of Hesse, the latest in a series of setbacks.
Both the CDU and its national coalition partners, the Social Democrats, were 10 percentage points down on the previous poll there.
The election comes just weeks after Mrs. Merkel’s Bavarian sister party, the CSU, suffered huge losses in a state parliament vote.
Mrs Merkel said she took “full responsibility” for poor performance.
“As chancellor and leader of the CDU I’m politically responsible for everything, for successes and for failures,” she said.
“When people are telling us what they think of how the government was formed and what they think of our work during the first seven months of this parliament… then it is a clear signal that things can’t carry on as they are.
“The time has come to open a new chapter.”