Merkel on the spot after painful regional vote

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) that she will not be running for re-election as it's chairwoman in December according to sources on Monday.

She has led Germany as chancellor since 2005 - and wants to stay in that post.

Merkel's 13 years in power have piled up baggage from repeated compromise-laden "grand coalitions" with the SPD, as well as a fateful 2015 decision to keep Germany's borders open, ultimately allowing in more than one million migrants.

After 13 years with Merkel at the helm, majority in coalition with the SPD, many Germans are exhausted of government by carefully-crafted compromise, calling instead for clear direction on pressing policy issues like migration, security, reform of the European Union and climate change.

"She will not stand again for the chairmanship of her party" when it meets at a congress in December to elect a new leader, said the source within the Christian Democratic Union.

Others include two state premiers Armin Laschet and Daniel Guenther, who carry weight after recently leading the CDU to victory in regional elections.

The Greens placed third, just barely trailing behind the Social Democrats with 19.5 percent of the votes.

Showing political gains was the far-right anti-immigrant party Alternative for Germany (AfD) which took 13.2 percent of the vote to enter the Hesse state legislature for the first time.

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Still, the CDU seemed to have avoided a worst-case scenario in Hesse: The potential humiliation of losing control of the state, as left-leaning parties appeared to have fallen short of the backing needed to form a government on their own.

Her message was clear: the SPD needs to be able to show tangible results to its supporters next year or else the party's leaders will pull out of the coalition with Merkel.

No party has haemorrhaged more support in recent years than the SPD, which has wilted as the junior partner governing in Merkel's shadow.

"We could then gauge the implementation of this roadmap at the agreed mid-term review, when we would be able to clearly see if this government is the right place for us", Nahles told reporters.

"The state of the government is unacceptable", SPD general secretary Andrea Nahles said on Sunday, demanding from the CDU a "clear, binding roadmap for politics in the interest of the citizens".

Such a result suggests this could continue, but doing so could further increase tensions in the German chancellor's ruling coalition in Berlin.

That marked a big drop from the 38.3 percent the CDU won at the last Hesse election, in 2013. The CSU, led by German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, lost 10 percent in comparison with the 2013 election and scored its worst result in 50 years, which was branded "painful" and "bitter" both by the CSU and CDU.

"Before this election, we thought a new political movement was possible only from the far right", said party co-leader Robert Habeck".

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