Merkel’s Party to Kick Off Revamp With January Leadership Vote
(Bloomberg) -- Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has agreed for the first time in its history to hold a membership vote to elect its leader when it seeks to replace Armin Laschet in January.
The CDU is likely heading into opposition for the first time in 16 years after Laschet led the party to its worst postwar result in September’s national election. With Laschet stepping aside, it’s their third leadership contest since Merkel gave up the party leadership in late 2018.
Former caucus leader Friedrich Merz, who belongs to the party’s conservative wing and is a long-time opponent of Merkel, is the candidate favored by the party base, putting him in a strong position to take over as chairman after two previous attempts failed.
Delegates will gather for a conference in Hanover on Jan. 21-22 to rubberstamp the ballot of members. The CDU leadership agreed on the procedure in a special meeting on Tuesday, according to a party official who asked not to be identified.
Neither Merz nor any of the other potential contenders -- including Health Minister Jens Spahn, former Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen and caucus leader Ralph Brinkhaus -- have officially declared their candidacy.
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