Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is to elect a new leader at the end of April, its current head has announced. Merkel has said she will not stand again, after nearly 15 years as chancellor.
The CDU’s current leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, viewed as Merkel’s successor, has announced her resignation amid the political crisis in Thuringia. The CDU’s collaboration with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) to install a liberal as leader in the eastern state of Thuringia has created a political chaos.
The new leader will be chosen at a special party meeting in Berlin on 25 April 25, Kramp-Karrenbauer said.
The CDU has performed badly in state elections, most recently in Hamburg on Sunday in which the CDU came third with 11.5%, having lost more than four points.
There are three favourites to succeed Kramp-Karrenbauer: former CDU parliamentary group leader Freidrich Merz, North Rhine-Westphalia governor Armin Laschet, and health minister Jens Spahn.
None has yet officially declared his candidacy. However, a fourth contender, former environment minister Norbert Roettgen, said last week that he would run.