Merkel protegee launches leadership bid
The German chancellor’s protegee has launched her party leadership campaign with a declaration that the Angela Merkel era is over.
Annegret Kramp Karrenbauer, who is referred to as ‘‘Mini-Merkel’’ by some newspapers due to her political closeness to the leader, is regarded as the most liberal of the three credible candidates to take over the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
Kramp-Karrenbauer said yesterday that she would give up her post as the party’s generalsecretary to dedicate herself to the contest.
She sought to step out from her mentor’s shadow, stressing that the CDU needed to renew itself and restore voters’ sense of belonging to the German homeland after 13 years of Merkel’s reign as chancellor.
‘‘An era has come to an end,’’ she said. ‘‘We have a lot to thank Angela Merkel for ... but such an era cannot simply carry on as long as you like.
‘‘We need to work out a way for people here to feel at home – people who have lived here a long time and people who have arrived more recently. ’’ – The Times
Annegret Kramp-Karren bauer