Merkel loyalist wins German party leadership battle

German Chancellor Merkel set to give up party chair refugee policy viewed by some as sore spot

German Chancellor Merkel set to give up party chair refugee policy viewed by some as sore spot

German conservatives on Friday elected an ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel to become her party's new leader - giving her the challenge of opening a new chapter and improving the party's electoral fortunes after 18 years under Merkel. The CDU is set to choose between Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Friedrich Merz.

The third candidate - vocal Merkel critic and current health minister Jens Spahn - lost in the first round.

Harvard announced Friday that the German Chancellor would speak at the University's spring graduation ceremony in 2019 with The Hill reporting the comments of Harvard President Larry who said: "Over her four terms as Germany's chancellor, her leadership has done much to shape the course not only of her nation, but also of Europe and the larger world".

Kramp-Karrenbauer's trump card is her record as a former state premier in Saarland, where she led a broad coalition with the Greens and pro-business Free Democrats, alliance-building skills useful in Germany's fractured political landscape.

Kramp-Karrenbauer has been the CDU's general secretary, in charge of day-to-day political strategy, since February.

The 56-year-old lawyer remains loyal to the small town of Püttlingen in the western German state where she was born, the fifth of six children, and where she still lives.

During the leadership campaign, Merz delighted rank-and-file CDU members hungry for a more clearly defined party after 13 years of consensus-type leadership under Merkel by calling for tax cuts and a more robust approach to tackling the far right. What she has said about the Merkel era became something of a slogan for her candidacy: "One cannot arbitrarily continue in the same vein, neither can one dismiss it".

First-round poll results show her to be the favourite to win the race with 45 per cent of the vote seeing her easily progress to the second round of voting.

Kramp-Karrenbauer says she knows how to win elections, having defied expectations to win re-election in Saarland by a wide margin previous year. While she has often been dubbed "mini Merkel" for her steady, pragmatic style, she subtly distanced herself from the chancellor in the run-up to today's high-stakes vote.

While she supported Mrs Merkel's refugee policy and has a liberal position on women's rights and a minimum wage, she has also expressed more conservative views. He won 157 votes.

For years, Merkel's popularity lifted the CDU and its Bavaria-only sister party, the Christian Social Union.

"We are in demanding times today, no doubt about that", she said.

"Whether it's the rejection of multilateralism, the return to nationalism, the reduction of global cooperation to deal-making or threatened trade wars... hybrid warfare, destabilization of societies with fake news or the future of our European Union - we Christian Democrats must show in the face of all these challenges what we've got", she said.

"And I'm still chancellor", she said. "I have always wanted to do my government and party jobs with dignity, and one day to leave them with dignity".

Merkel was greeted by a long standing ovation, with some delegates holding up "Thank you, boss" placards.

Recommended News

  • Free public transport rolled out in a country for first time

    Free public transport rolled out in a country for first time

    On average, it's estimated that drivers in Luxembourg City spend an average of 33 hours in traffic in 2017 . And secondary school students are provided with free shuttles between their places of study and their home.
    Mika Singh arrested for alleged sexual harassment

    Mika Singh arrested for alleged sexual harassment

    A 17-year-old Brazilian model has accused Mika of sending "indecent photos" with promising her a role in a Bollywood movie. The singer was in Dubai to perform at Masala Awards ceremony held at Fort Island, Madinat Jumeirah on Tuesday.
    Gunners, Spurs to play minnows in FA Cup

    Gunners, Spurs to play minnows in FA Cup

    Arsenal could play minor league side Solihull Moors, while London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur may face fellow minnows Southport. The draw yielded two all-Premier League ties with Wolves welcoming Liverpool to Molineux and Bournemouth hosting Brighton .
  • Ocasio-Cortez Promises $15-an-hour Intern

    Ocasio-Cortez Promises $15-an-hour Intern "Living Wage" (Math & Economics Disagree)

    Essentially she says, it only allows those that are rich enough, to come work for free as an intern on Capitol Hill. Congress, until recently, has historically provided unpaid internships in all but a few roles on Capitol Hill.
    Fortnite's Season 7 Is Here, Watch The Trailer

    Fortnite's Season 7 Is Here, Watch The Trailer

    Balloons have also been reworked to make them more robust and ziplines have been added to help get around the map. Meanwhile, the submarine can be found in the new Iceberg biome on top of a mountain shown in our screenshot.
    How to Watch the Game Awards

    How to Watch the Game Awards

    New Dragon Age Teased BioWare teased a new Dragon Age game in a brief teaser, which ended in the hashtag #TheDreadWolfRises. The embedded YouTube video above is a full 4K stream, ensuring you can get every new trailer in high-resolution goodness.
  • Comey set for closed-door interview with House Republicans

    Comey set for closed-door interview with House Republicans

    Under a deal struck with the House Judiciary Committee, he can speak afterward and a transcript will be released. Former FBI Director James Comey appeared before a House committee on Friday to testify at a closed hearing.
    Apple finally releases a case for the iPhone XR

    Apple finally releases a case for the iPhone XR

    However, since the launch of the iPhone X , the design has changed radically and we have been expecting a new Smart Battery Case. In addition to this, there is no word from the company when the new Smart Battery Case will be released to the public.
    Jose Mourinho: Manchester United shot themselves in the foot against Arsenal

    Jose Mourinho: Manchester United shot themselves in the foot against Arsenal

    The Red Devils are struggling to score goals, too, given the well-documented struggles of marquee signings Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez over the past 12 months.
  • Kendrick Lamar leads the 2019 Grammy Awards nominations

    Kendrick Lamar leads the 2019 Grammy Awards nominations

    The nominations for the 2019 Grammys were officially released Friday morning, and with the news comes both snubs and surprises . The 2019 Grammys will hand out awards in its 84 categories live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 10, 2019.
    Meghan Markle donned pink cashmere coat for King's College London

    Meghan Markle donned pink cashmere coat for King's College London

    Meghan Markle displayed her baby bump Tuesday night as she and her husband attended a Christmas carol service. The palace doesn't usually respond to rumours but a spokesperson has chose to step in.
    Man arrested in death of USA  tourist in Costa Rica

    Man arrested in death of USA tourist in Costa Rica

    But on Monday, a body was found in a wooded area near the Airbnb property where Stefaniak was staying in Escazu, San Jose. A body has been found in the search for a missing Florida woman who disappeared during her birthday trip in Costa Rica.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.