Angela Merkel is stepping down as the leader of her political party, but will stay on as Germany’s chancellor, multiple reports say.
A new chair will be elected at the CDU’s upcoming party conference in December, Deutsche Welle said.
Merkel’s departure comes after a series of party losses in regional elections, most recently in the central German region of Hesse — a former CDU stronghold — on Sunday.
The CDU won about 28% of the vote there on Sunday, down from 38% five years ago.
Its loss increases the instability of the CDU’s grand coalition with the Social Democrat (CSU) party, with whom the CDU rules in Berlin. The CSU also suffered a setback in Sunday’s Hesse elections.
The country’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) on Sunday secured about 12% of the vote and will enter the region’s assembly for the first time.
The nationalist, anti-same-sex marriage, and anti-euro party surged to third place in the country’s national election last September.