Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, Merkel welcomed positive comments by her current vice chancellor Olaf Scholz about their current governing coalition. Scholz, who is also Germany's finance minister, is the center-left Social Democrats' candidate to succeed Merkel in the Sept. 26 vote. Of late, he has tried to portray himself as her natural successor, even though he belongs to a different party.
“With me as German chancellor, there would never be a coalition in which the Left party would participate," said Merkel, who announced in 2018 that she wouldn’t seek a fifth four-year term. “Whether this (view) is shared by Olaf Scholz remains open.”