Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTNATION - The New York Times

HAM­BURG: Ger­man con­ser­va­tives opted for con­ti­nu­ity rather than change on Fri­day, elect­ing An­negret Kramp-kar­ren­bauer, an ally of An­gela Merkel, to suc­ceed Merkel as their party leader.

The vote by del­e­gates of the Chris­tian Demo­cratic Union is the first ma­jor step into the postmerkel era af­ter her 18 years as leader of Europe’s big­gest con­ser­va­tive party and 13 years as chan­cel­lor.

For many con­ser­va­tives, it also served as an en­dorse­ment of Merkel’s legacy.

By choos­ing Kramp-kar­ren­bauer, 56, a woman whose mod­est lead­er­ship style is rem­i­nis­cent of the chan­cel­lor’s, the party sig­nalled a de­sire to keep to the cen­trist, so­cially con­scious course set by Merkel.

As party leader, she is likely to be­come the Chris­tian Democrats’ can­di­date for chan­cel­lor dur­ing the next gen­eral elec­tion, sched­uled for 2021.

Fri­day’s vote in­creased Merkel’s chances of main­tain­ing the cur­rent coali­tion gov­ern­ment with the cen­tre-left So­cial Democrats, and com­plet­ing what she says will be her fi­nal term in of­fice.

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