Angela Merkel laid out her case for a fourth term as German chancellor on Tuesday, seeking to energize her conservatives with a call to ban full-face Muslim veils and the promise of a tougher stance on immigration after a record influx of refugees.
Speaking to a party congress of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Essen, the western rust belt city where she won the party leadership 16 years ago, Merkel sought to present herself as a guarantor of stability in an uncertain world.
The meeting was taking place a month after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States and at a time when Europe is reeling from a surge in populism and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
Merkel has been described as the last guardian of western democratic values, a suggestion she rejected.
“You must help me,” she said in an impassioned appeal to 1,000 CDU delegates. “No one, not even someone with great experience, can change things for the good in Germany, in Europe, in the world more or less on their own – certainly not a chancellor of Germany.”
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