German President Joachim Gauck announced on Monday that he will not be seeking a second term as the largely ceremonial position of president, only months before an election year that is already proving to be a struggle for Chancellor Merkel should she choose to run for a fourth term.
I cannot guarantee that I would have the same energy and vitality for another five-year term
Gauck’s reasoning lies mostly with his age, 76, but put to rest concerns over health issues stating that he is is in good shape but went on to say that “at the same time, I am aware that the life phase between 77 and 82 is a different one than the one I am in now. I cannot guarantee that I would have the same energy and vitality for another five-year term.”
When Gauck was originally appointed in 2012, Merkel was not a fan but was forced to accept him when other parties, including the Free Democrats (FDP), her coalition partner at the time, threw their support behind him.
Now Merkel has said that she wished Gauck would serve a second term, likely due to the rough election season coming up next year. Now she will have to focus on finding a replacement candidate while also putting in effort to gain back public support that has seen a rapid decline.
While Merkel has not officially announced plans to run for a fourth term, there has been no indication that she would not seek re-election.