Angela Merkel has delayed her announcement on whether she will seek another term as chancellor to early next year, news magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday, citing sources in the German leader's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party.
The announcement date was set back a second time to give the head of the CDU's sister Christian Social Union (CSU) party, Horst Seehofer, time to decide whether his party would support Merkel's candidacy, according to the report.
Many in the CDU's circles disputed that explanation on Saturday, calling it pure speculation. Merkel had said at a press conference in July that she would unveil her decision "at the appropriate time."
The wait could pose a problem for Merkel, who was expected to run for another two-year term in the top position in the CDU at the party's December convention, but can do so only if she is also a candidate for chancellor.
According to Spiegel, there is concern in Merkel's political circles that announcing her candidacy without Seehofer's support would damage her politically.
Ralf Stegner, deputy leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), told dpa on Saturday that "the candidacy of Angela Merkel seems to hang by a thread at the mercy of Horst Seehofer."
Merkel had pushed back her announcement originally planned for early 2016 because of the refugee crisis and tension with the CSU.
In office since 2005, Merkel currently heads a grand coalition government with the centre-left SPD. Should she win another term, she could potentially beat the record for time in office set by Helmut Kohl with 16 years.