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After 11 years in office German Chancellor Angela Merkel will run for a fourth term

Germany’s centre-right Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that she will run for a fourth term in office.

She told her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in Berlin she expected her toughest campaign yet and would “fight for our values and our way of life”.

An election is due to be held next year after four years of coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD).

Mrs Merkel’s poll ratings have slipped since the height of her popularity but she retains wide support.

The chancellor, who has been in office since 2005, is also being challenged by the populist right-wing AfD party.

She announced she would stand again after meeting party leaders at CDU headquarters.

She told reporters that the decision to run for a fourth term had been “anything but trivial after 11 years in office”.

She added that she expected challenges from both the right and the left of the political spectrum.

In September, Mrs Merkel accepted responsibility for election defeats for the CDU in several states and conceded that her open-door policy towards migrants was a factor.

A poll for one Sunday newspaper (in German) found that 55% of Germans would vote for her. Mrs Merkel’s approval ratings have gone up and down in recent months as a result of her refugee policy but they remain the envy of other world leaders.