Merkel Rated ‘World’s Most Powerful Woman’ Despite Election Humiliation

Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has again topped a list of the world’s 100 most powerful women, despite seeing her vote share fall to right-wing populists in the recent German elections.

Mrs. Merkel ranked above UK Prime Minister Theresa May to come top of the Forbes magazine list for the seventh year in a row and the 12th time in total.

Mrs. May – at number two – is followed by the philanthropist Melinda Gates, co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, and Mary Barra, the chief executive of General Motors.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, is at number 19 on the list, while Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, was featured at number 43.

Former first lady Michelle Obama has dropped off the list since she left the White House last year and Hillary Clinton, who has appeared every year since the list’s inception in 2004, fell 63 places, from second in 2016.

In September, Mrs. Merkel’s party has emerged as the largest party in Germany’s national election but lost well over a million voters as the anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) surged to come third in the race.

“Once again, Merkel tops the list. As the de facto leader of the struggling European coalition, Merkel this year won a hard-fought election that saw the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party creep into the Bundestag,” Forbes wrote.

Continuing: “She’ll have to continue to hold tight to the EU rudder as she faces oncoming storms from Brexit and the growing anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe. She’s working from a position of strength though as Germany’s economy continues to grow.”

The names on the list are drawn from seven “power bases” including billionaires, business, finance, media, politics, philanthropists, and technology.

Forbes said this “year’s top women in politics are at the forefront of efforts to reshape and retain global alliances.” Moira Forbes, executive vice-president of Forbes Media, added:

“Whether leading multibillion-dollar companies, governing countries, transforming an industry, or setting the agenda on critical issues of our time, collectively these women are making a lasting impact on our global footprint.”


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