BERLIN German Chancellor Angela Merkel will announce whether she plans to run for a fourth term in due course, her spokesman said on Tuesday, responding to comments by a party member who told CNN "she will run for chancellor."Senior allies of Merkel have been indicating that they expect her to run in national elections in 2017 even though her popularity has dipped following the influx of some 900,000 migrants last year."She will address this question at the suitable time, as has been said many times in the past," Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert told Reuters.Norbert Roettgen, a lawmaker in Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), told CNN earlier that Merkel "will run for chancellor."
Asked about Roettgen's assertion, a CDU spokesman said: "What the party leadership said remains valid: she will communicate her decision in due course."
Even though Merkel's CDU and their Bavaria-based Christian Social Union partners are roughly 10 percentage points ahead of their nearest rivals in opinion polls, her open-door migrant policy has angered many voters.The right-wing Alternative for Germany, which has embraced tough anti-immigrant rhetoric, is drawing support away from the bigger traditional parties and is expected to make it into parliament in national elections in September 2017.
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Joseph Nasr; editing by Mark Heinrich)
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