MERKEL’S PARTY CHOOSES LEADER
HAMBURG Angela Merkel’s centre-right party elected an ally of the longtime German chancellor as its new leader on Friday, opting for continuity and experience as it handed her the challenge of improving the party’s electoral fortunes.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, often known as “AKK,” narrowly defeated one-time Merkel rival Friedrich Merz to become the Christian Democratic Union’s new chairwoman. The vote came hours after the party feted Merkel with a lengthy standing ovation as she wrapped up 18 years at the helm.
Merkel has said she plans to remain chancellor until Germany’s next election, which is due in 2021. Kramp Karren bauer, the CDU general secretary since February and previously a popular state governor, is now the favourite to run for chancellor in that vote.