The leader of Germany’s main governing party, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, is standing down and will not put herself forward to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor, reports say.
Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer took over as head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in December 2018.
She was seen as the favourite to take over as German chancellor in 2021.
The CDU was recently criticised for an inconclusive regional election result in the eastern state of Thuringia.
Last week, some of the CDU’s local politicians in Thuringia voted with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party to install a regional premier.
In her first address as leader in 2018, Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer – also known as AKK – called for party unity.
During her farewell speech as party leader, Ms Merkel praised AKK for her 2017 electoral success in Saarland, in a clear hint that the chancellor saw her as her successor.