Germany: Armin Laschet to lead Merkel's party

The participants of the congress of the Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU) have elected the 59-year-old Prime Minister of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet as the new chairman of the party. His candidacy on Saturday, January 16, was supported in the second round of voting by the participants of the two-day CDU congress held by videoconference.

His rivals in the struggle for the post of chairman of the party, which is part of the ruling coalition in Germany, were the former head of the CDU faction in the Bundestag Friedrich Merz, who returned from business to politics, and Norbert Röttgen, head of the foreign policy committee of the Bundestag. Laschet and Merz took part in the second round of voting.

The new chairman of the CDU is one of the most likely candidates for the Chancellor's post from the conservative CDU / CSU bloc in the September elections to the Bundestag. At the same time, the Prime Minister of Bavaria and the chairman of the Christian Social Union (CSU) Markus Söder, whose popularity has grown significantly throughout the country during the pandemic, as well as the Minister of Health of Germany, Jens Spahn, are also considered potential candidates.

The current German chancellor, CDU politician Angela Merkel, who has been heading the country's government for 15 years, refused to re-nominate her candidacy. In October 2018, she announced that she would not be running for the next Bundestag elections. 

Source: DW