Merkel ally Kramp-Karrenbauer elected new CDU leader

German Chancellor Merkel set to give up party chair refugee policy viewed by some as sore spot

German Chancellor Merkel set to give up party chair refugee policy viewed by some as sore spot

Angela Merkel loyalist Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has been elected as the new leader of the German chancellor's party.

As the party's general secretary, Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer was favourite to take over when Mrs Merkel announced her retirement in October.

German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel holds a frame with a baton she was given by Volker Bouffier (right) and Klaus Schueler (left) representing CDU members during a party congress of Germany's conservative CDU party on December 7 at a fair hall in Hamburg, northern Germany.

She hinted that she was backing Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to succeed her, praising her electoral performance as chief minister of Saarland.

(AAP) Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer reacts as she is elected the new leader of Germany's CDU party.

Current German Chancellor Mrs Merkel looked close to tears as she delivered her farewell speech to delegates in the room.

She stressed that the CDU stood for human dignity, and praised the late US President George Bush Senior and late German Chancellor Helmut Kohl for reuniting Germany in 1990.

AKK - as she is widely known - grew up in a Catholic family in Saarland in south-western Germany, the country's smallest state. "The future will test our values we must always approach work joyfully", she said.

"Whether it's the rejection of multilateralism, the return to nationalism, the reduction of worldwide cooperation to deal-making or threatened trade wars... hybrid warfare, destabilization of societies with fake news or the future of our European Union - we Christian Democrats must show in the face of all these challenges what we've got", she said.

In a farewell speech as leader, Merkel said Friday that "our CDU today is different from the year 2000, and that is a good thing". Whoever wins will be favorite to run for chancellor in the next election, though that isn't automatic. She already lost her firm control over CDU lawmakers in September, when her parliamentary group staged a coup, unseating her caucus chairman in favor of a more independent rival.

More news: ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Teaser Sees Ice Meeting Fire
More news: Trump to Name State Department's Heather Nauert UN Ambassador
More news: Offset's alleged mistress apologizes to Cardi B

A third contender, Health Minister Jens Spahn, 38, an outspoken critic of Merkel's 2015 decision to welcome more than one million asylum seekers to Germany, is running a distant third.

Bloomberg's Matt Miller reports on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Europe".

"The Merkel era is palpably coming to an end", political journalist and AKK biographer Kristina Dunz said.

AKK beat corporate lawyer Friedrich Merz, 63, who had quit politics in 2009 after losing a power struggle against Merkel and long nursed a grudge against the more centrist chancellor.

"The CDU of the Merkel years is falling apart", it said.

'Now it is time to open a new chapter, ' Merkel said.

The contest is wide open as 1,001 party delegates convene for the two-day party conference.

AKK is believed to have Merkel's strong backing but much will depend on how deep and widespread the longing is for a stronger conservative profile. He won support this week from party veteran Wolfgang Schaeuble.

At present, the center-right bloc is polling around or below 30 percent.

Regardless of which course the CDU charts, it is ironically the SPD that could decide Merkel's fate.

Recommended News

  • Hawaiian Monk Seal Gets Eel Stuck Up Its Nose

    Hawaiian Monk Seal Gets Eel Stuck Up Its Nose

    The program reported another eel-in-nose incident on Facebook in 2016. "The eels, however, did not make it". Honestly, despite not being a seal and not having an eel now lodged up my schnozz, I can truly empathise.
    Mourinho reveals why he is not picking Fred in Man Utd team

    Mourinho reveals why he is not picking Fred in Man Utd team

    I said to him, 'Sead, you had a very good match and offensively you gave us a lot of chances. For me it is very good. "The spirit and fight is there and we will get there".
    Wall Street to open lower on trade deal doubt, bond market nerves

    Wall Street to open lower on trade deal doubt, bond market nerves

    US markets remained closed on Wednesday as part of a National Day of Mourning for the passing of former 41st President George H.W. Oil prices headed higher ahead of an OPEC meeting on Thursday, where members are expected to agree to cut output in 2019.
  • Expect Two Wildly Different Stories After James Comey's House Testimony

    Expect Two Wildly Different Stories After James Comey's House Testimony

    They said questions from the judiciary committee Republicans were merely distractions from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe. Comey had fought the congressional subpoena in court, pushing for a public hearing before settling for some concessions.
    Trump golf club employs undocumented workers

    Trump golf club employs undocumented workers

    Although Diaz now has legal residency in the US , she claims there were "many people without papers" working at the resort. But companies are not required in most cases to take additional steps to verify the authenticity of documents.
    Apple's official iPhone XR Clear Case is finally here

    Apple's official iPhone XR Clear Case is finally here

    Mention must be made that all the latest models like iPhone XS, XS Max and XR are not eligible for $29 replacement batteries. It has grown on me over the month and I've been buying accessories to support its use over the long term.
  • This Language App Is Google's Pick for Best App of 2018

    This Language App Is Google's Pick for Best App of 2018

    The removal comes after a Buzzfeed story detailed allegations of ad fraud against the developers. You can check out the Best of 2018 section in your country from the Google Play listing.
    Republicans rush to limit power of incoming Democratic governors

    Republicans rush to limit power of incoming Democratic governors

    Last night, that legislature voted to not just limit Democrats' power, but to actually make it harder for people to even vote. Walker is getting bipartisan pressure to veto the measures, including from Democratic Gov. -elect Tony Evers (EE'-vers).
    Luxembourg eyes free public transport

    Luxembourg eyes free public transport

    In a bid to ease the pressure on the country's road network, all public transport tickets will be abolished from summer 2019. Soon, all public transport in Luxembourg will be free as fares for trains, trams, and buses are lifted next summer.
  • Trump Says He'll Nominate William Barr To Return As Attorney General

    At least one other contender who has received serious consideration from the White House, according to the person, is Rep. Rove noted Barr respects Mueller, who led the FBI's criminal division when the former was AG under Bush.
    CNN's NY  offices given all-clear after bomb threat

    CNN's NY offices given all-clear after bomb threat

    The tweet does not mention CNN by name, but "fake news" is his go-to description of every mainstream outlet, CNN included. Outside the building, CNN's Brian Stelter and Don Lemon continued to broadcast.

    Jake Gyllenhaal confirms Mysterio role in Spider-Man: Far From Home

    Tom Holland starred as the Marvel hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming and recently appeared in Avengers: Infinity War . Beck was a special effects wizard who was so frustrated with his Hollywood career he turned to supervillainy.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.