Armin Laschet elected leader of Angela Merkel’s party


Berlin: Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) elected Armin Laschet as chairman on Saturday, aiming to unify their divided party behind a new leader they hope can succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor when she steps down at federal elections in September.

Laschet, the governor of the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia – Germany’s most populous – won a runoff vote against Friedrich Merz, securing 521 votes against 466 for his arch-conservative rival, according to a ballot of 1001 party delegates. A third candidate, prominent lawmaker Norbert Roettgen, was eliminated in a first round of voting.

Armin Laschet will helm Germany's Christian Democratic Union and is well placed to either run to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor or to be the kingmaker.

Armin Laschet will helm Germany’s Christian Democratic Union and is well placed to either run to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor or to be the kingmaker.Credit:AP

Saturday’s vote isn’t the final word on who will run as the centre-right candidate for chancellor in Germany’s September 26 election, but Laschet will either run for chancellor or have a major say in who does.

By tradition, the CDU chairman is usually – though not always – the chancellor candidate for the CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the conservative bloc is on course to win September’s federal ballot.

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