Germany's main parties made progress in coalition talks on Thursday. Chancellor Merkel's conservatives and the Social Democrats want to have a government in place by Christmas.
Merkel will not seek a new term as CDU leader, prompting many to doubt her future as chancellor. Voters are also not enthused about Merkel's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer remaining in office, according to a new poll.
Both Angela Merkel's CDU and her center-left coalition partner, the SPD, are holding crisis meetings as they try to chart a new course. Urgent voices on each side could drag the parties away from the political center.
Angela Merkel rises to the occasion after her party's disastrous showing in the Hesse state election. Offering to step down as CDU head is a clever way to prepare to bow out altogether, says DW Editor-in-Chief Ines Pohl.
Support for the country's ruling parties is dwindling as the Green party and far-right AfD continue to surge. Some Germans are worried about the status quo, but many believe the changes are good for democracy.
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