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Germany’s CDU to decide on Merkel successor in April

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union was plunged into turmoil after her heir apparent, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, resigned as party leader this month over her supposed failure to stop regional lawmakers from cooperating with the far right.

AFP|
Last Updated: Feb 24, 2020, 11.30 PM IST
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Agencies
Merkel---Agencies
Angela Merkel (File Pic)
BERLIN: Angela Merkel’s centreright CDU will choose a new leader at a special congress on April 25, sources told AFP on Monday, as the party scrambles to prepare for the veteran German chancellor’s departure.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union was plunged into turmoil after her heir apparent, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, resigned as party leader this month over her supposed failure to stop regional lawmakers from cooperating with the far right. The surprise move threw open the race to succeed Merkel, who has been in power for more than 14 years and plans to bow out at the next general elections slated for 2021.

Kramp-Karrenbauer, widely known as “AKK”, held top level talks with party grandees in Berlin on Monday to decide the way forward.

Sources close to the talks told AFP that they had agreed to hold an extraordinary congress on April 25 to anoint a new chairman, who would then be almost sure to become the party’s candidate for chancellor. The top-level deliberations came a day after the CDU suffered its second-worst result ever in a regional election, coming third in Hamburg with just 11.5% of the vote. It is also engulfed in an internal debate as to how it should position itself against the extremes of right and left that have reshaped the nation's political landscape.

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