Rebels declare a holiday truce
MAOIST rebels in the Philippines declared a ceasefire yesterday for the Christmas and New Year holidays, but the government said it would not be fooled into joining the truce.
Guerrillas from the Communist Party of the Philippines have been battling government forces for 50 years.
Most people in the Philippines are Christian. | CHANCELLOR Angela Merkel’s party celebrated her 18 years as its leader with a lengthy standing ovation yesterday as it prepared to elect a successor who could help shape Germany’s political direction for the next generation.
A close ally of Merkel’s and a onetime rival were considered favourites for the leadership of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union.
Merkel announced in October she would give up the reins to her party, though she plans to remain chancellor until her term ends in 2021.
However, it is possible that next election could come earlier.
Three high-profile contenders have spent the last month touring Germany to drum up support.
Major German parties have tended to determine their leaders without a contest, and this is the first open competition for the CDU leadership since 1971.
predict, and the race is expected to be close. Whoever wins will be the favourite to run for chancellor in the next election, though that isn’t automatic.
The favourites are CDU general secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a Merkel ally who is widely considered the chancellor’s preferred successor and is closest to her centrist stance; and Friedrich Merz, a former leader of the party’s parliamentary group who stands for a more conservative approach.
Health Minister Jens Spahn, another Merkel critic, is considered the outsider. At 38, he would represent a generational change. Kramp-Karrenbauer is 56 and Merz 63, only a year younger than the chancellor.
The choice will be made by 1 001 delegates at a party congress in Hamburg, many of them professional or part-time politicians at federal, regional or local level.
Merkel has been CDU leader since 2000 and chancellor since 2005. |