German CDU to start search for new leader next week

Christian Democratic Union (CDU) chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer leaves the podium after a press conference after presidium and board meetings at the CDU headquarters in Berlin, Germany, 10 February 2020. Kramp-Karrenbauer announced to resign from party leadership and renounce candidacy for chancellorship after an election scandal in the German regional state parliament of Thuringia, where the far right-wing party Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) provided votes together with Christian Democrats (CDU) and Free Liberal Party (FDP) for a liberal state premier. EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN

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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.

 

Read more via Politico

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