Merkel loyalist wins party leadership battle
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a close ally of Angela Merkel, won a tight race to succeed her as party leader on Friday, seeing off a longtime rival of the German chancellor.
The contest, which required a runoff vote to secure a 52-percent majority for AKK as she is known, is expected to increase the likelihood that Merkel will be able to see out her fourth term until 2021.
AKK, 56, pledged to maintain continuity after 18 years of Merkel at the helm while opening up the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to more grassroots democracy.
AKK beat corporate lawyer Friedrich Merz, 63.