Millennium Post (Kolkata)
Merkel stays out of battle over who runs for German leader
BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday she will stay out of a battle in her center-right bloc over who should be its candidate to succeed her, while the two rival contenders prepared to take their case to lawmakers.
Armin Laschet, leader of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, and Markus Soeder, the leader of its smaller Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, officially threw their hats in the ring on Sunday after months of shadow-boxing.
Germany's parliamentary election on Sept. 26 will determine who succeeds Merkel, who isn't seeking a fifth term after nearly 16 years in power.
Laschet and Soeder are the governors of Germany's two most populous states, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria respectively.
Soeder has much better poll ratings, but Laschet is the recently elected leader of by far the bigger party.
On Monday, Laschet rallied the CDU leadership behind his bid and called for a quick decision.