Germany’s outgoing conservative leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said she would “start the personnel selection process” to find her successor next week.
On Monday, Kramp-Karrenbauer announced she was to step down as leader of Germany’s governing Christian Democrats and would not be the party’s candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor — a decision that sent shockwaves across the German political landscape and beyond.
Although she didn’t name names, those being discussed as the most likely contenders are Health Minister Jens Spahn and long-time Merkel critic Friedrich Merz, who both lost against Kramp-Karrenbauer in a bid to become party leader in 2018. Another name said to be in the frame is North Rhine-Westphalia’s state premier Armin Laschet.
Kramp-Karrenbauer on Monday said that a decision on her successor would likely not be taken ahead of the party’s congress in December, but she told Reuters that a replacement could be named before the summer recess. Germany takes over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU in July.
Angela Merkel gave up the leadership of the party in 2018 after the CDU took a hammering in the October 2018 Hesse regional election (which saw gains for the Greens and the far-right AfD), she was under pressure from her own party and her coalition partners.
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