Germany: Merkel’s successor as CDU party chief drops out, with 2021 election looming

Germany: Merkel’s successor as CDU party chief drops out, with 2021 election looming
Angela Merkel (Image: YouTube screen grab)

[Ed. – This could actually have serious ramifications.  The CDU is nowhere close to united, which is a big reason Merkel stepped aside as head of the party years before her term as chancellor was to end.  With the sun setting on her horizon, she declined to take on the heroic philosophical task of figuring out how to unify some semblance of a center right.  Germany’s social democrats are as geriatric and brittle as any in Europe; the AfD “right” is a mix of (mostly) populists and (some) literal Nazis.  The rad-left Greens always make a showing and can’t be dismissed as a factor for forming governments.  Antifa, on its original stomping grounds, could easily get out of hand.  What the CDU becomes will decide Germany’s course for the next decade, whether through strength or weakness.  This requires watching and merits concern.]

Angela Merkel’s grand transition plan has derailed after her handpicked successor, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, unexpectedly called it quits on Monday.

Kramp-Karrenbauer, better known as AKK, announced she would not stand as the Christian Democratic Union’s (CDU) candidate to be German chancellor in the next federal election. She is also stepping down as the party’s chairwoman, according to the CDU’s press office.

Merkel, who has been chancellor for almost 15 years, said in 2018 that she would not run again when her term expires in 2021. …

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Merkel formed a grand coalition with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), and some parts of the CDU have criticized her for what they see as a move to the left. [Friedrich] Merz, a corporate lawyer who has spent the past decade working for the investment company BlackRock, would move the party more to the right. …

Whoever becomes the next leader of the CDU will face the challenge of reuniting a deeply divided party.

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