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Bavarian party leader Seehofer to step down in January

A photographer takes a picture as German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer attends a presentation of the Hasso Plattner Institute as part of a two-day retreat of the German government in Potsdam, near Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, Pool)

BERLIN (AP) — The head of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavaria-only conservative ally says he will step down from the post early next year.

The dpa news agency reported Friday that Horst Seehofer announced he would resign the post he’s held since 2008 as head of the Christian Social Union at a special party meeting on January 19.

He says “the year 2019 should be the year of the CSU’s renewal.”

Seehofer had been under pressure since the party’s dismal result in Bavaria elections in October that saw it stay in power but lose significant support.

Seehofer on Monday said he would resign the post but remain interior minister in Merkel’s Cabinet, a job he was also rumored to be considering giving up.

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