The Latest: Merkel ally elected leader of chancellor's party


HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — The Latest on the election of a successor to Angela Merkel as Christian Democratic Union party leader (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, an ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has been elected as the new leader of Merkel’s center-right party.

Kramp-Karrenbauer narrowly defeated Friedrich Merz, a one-time Merkel rival, at a congress of the Christian Democratic Union in Hamburg on Friday. She won 517 votes to Merz’s 482 in a run-off. A third candidate, Health Minister Jens Spahn, was eliminated in a first round of voting.

The 56-year-old Kramp-Karrenbauer has been the CDU’s general secretary, in charge of day-to-day political strategy, since February. She was previously a popular governor of western Saarland state.

White House Interns Send Demand Letter to Biden: 'We Will No Longer Remain Silent'

She now inherits the task of improving the CDU’s political fortunes and trying to win back voters from rivals to the right and left, while working with Merkel as chancellor until Germany’s next election.


4:40 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party is holding a runoff vote to choose its new leader after no candidate won a majority in the first round of voting.

The new leader of the Christian Democratic Union was being chosen by 1,001 delegates at a party congress Friday in Hamburg. Candidates needed 50 percent of the vote to win.

CDU general secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a Merkel ally, won 450 votes in the first round. Friedrich Merz, a one-time Merkel rival who was once the party’s parliamentary leader, took 392 votes.

Health Secretary Jens Spahn, a sometime Merkel critic who was the outsider, was eliminated with 157 votes.


3:40 p.m.

MLB Superstar Shohei Ohtani Announces New Team on Social Media, Shatters Sports Contract Records

The favorites to replace Chancellor Angela Merkel as leader of her center-right party have made their pitches for the job in speeches that showcased their contrasting styles.

Merkel ally Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the Christian Democratic Union’s general secretary and previously a popular state governor, made much Friday of her 18 years of experience in regional government. She said she has learned that leadership “is more about internal strength then external volume.”

Friedrich Merz, a one-time Merkel rival and former leader of the party’s parliamentary group, highlighted the need to tackle the “intolerable” success of the far-right Alternative for Germany and called for a more combative approach to the CDU’s rivals in the political center.

Merz, who advocates a more conservative approach than Merkel, said that “without clear positions we won’t get better election results.”


12:25 p.m.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has celebrated her 18 years at the helm of Germany’s main center-right party in her final speech as leader, urging members to show unity as it opens a new chapter.

In a speech Friday before the Christian Democratic Union elects a new leader, Merkel recalled that she took office in 2000 when the party was in a deep crisis. She said that “we kept a cool head” and “we showed everyone” by recovering.

Merkel told a party congress in Hamburg that “our CDU today is different from the year 2000, and that is a good thing.” She said the party must not look to the past but the future.

Her half-hour speech was greeted with a several-minute standing ovation. Some delegates held up placards saying “Thank you, boss!”


10:25 a.m.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party is meeting to elect a new leader who could help shape Germany’s political direction for the next generation.

A close ally of Merkel’s and a one-time rival are considered favorites for the job to lead the center-right Christian Democratic Union.

Merkel announced in October she would give up the reins in her party, though she plans to serve her current term as chancellor.

Three high-profile contenders have toured Germany to drum up support.

Friday’s vote pits CDU general secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a Merkel ally, against Friedrich Merz, a former leader of the party’s parliamentary group who stands for a more conservative approach and has been away from front-line politics for a decade.

Health Minister Jens Spahn, another Merkel critic, is considered the outsider.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City