The leader of the populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD) is contemplating stepping down as the party loses support ahead of the general election in September.
AfD climbed in the polls throughout 2016 and looked set to shake up the political map in the election. But as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has gotten tougher on immigration, AfD’s support has plummeted to 7 percent in the most recent polls.
AfD leader Frauke Petry hinted she may now step down in response to growing criticism over her leadership.
“Neither the politics nor the AfD are indispensable for me,” Petry told newspaper Tagesspiegel in an interview published Thursday. “It makes sense to consider and readjust your life from time to time. That’s the way I see it now after more than four years with the AfD, which has demanded an enormous amount of energy and forced me to wave goodbye to a normal life.”
The party will vote on its candidate for chancellor in a few weeks, and a possible resignation would likely take place before the convention.
AfD was launched as recently as 2013 as an anti-EU party, and has gradually taken up issues of immigration and multiculturalism since the start of the migrant crisis.