BY JORDI BOU
January 16, 2021 – De Duitse centrumrechtse christendemocraten zoeken een nieuwe leider, nu de gekozen opvolger van Merkel, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, niet verkiesbaar is als kanselier bij de volgende federale verkiezingen.
The empty chair at the top of the country’s biggest and most powerful party, CDU, is due to be filled at a special party gathering in Berlin on April 25.
Barring any surprise candidacies, delegates will choose between Armin Laschet, the centrist state premier of North-Rhine Westphalia and closest to a Merkel continuity candidate, the veteran rightwinger Friedrich Merz, and Norbert Röttgen, a foreign policy expert.
Merkel’s protegee, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, threw the party into turmoil in February by saying she would not stand as chancellor in the next federal election, due by Oct 2021, and would give up the CDU party chair.
Kramp-Karrenbauer resigned when the CDU was tainted by a political scandal in the state of Thuringia.
A deal with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), now annulled, put a liberal in charge of Thuringia thanks to AfD and CDU votes. It broke a post-war German taboo: no deals with the far right or far left.