Merkel party postpones congress to elect leader over coronavirus - GulfToday

Merkel party postpones congress to elect leader over coronavirus


Image only for representation

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party said Monday it would push back a congress planned for early December to elect a new leader due to a surge in coronavirus infections.

The conservative party's top brass will reexamine the situation in mid-December to determine its next steps, general secretary Paul Ziemiak said.


Chileans vote by millions to tear up Pinochet's constitution

Imran Khan slams Emmnanel Macron for creating further polarisation

UAE announces 1,111 new cases and 3 deaths

"Going by the current situation, a congress with attendees on December 4 would not be allowed," said Ziemiak.

The CDU was still hoping to hold an in-person congress at a later date rather than a video conference, but acknowledged that the online format might be the only option if the pandemic cannot be brought under control.

Germany virus 21
German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a meeting. File photo

Merkel protegee Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer took over as the leader of the Christian Democratic Union in 2018, after the veteran chancellor said she would not seek a new mandate at general elections next year.

But the race for the party's top job was thrown wide open when Kramp-Karrenbauer resigned just a few months into the post over her handling of a regional election scandal.

The chief of the CDU traditionally leads it and its smaller Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union to the polls.

The chosen candidate would have a claim on the post of chancellor and be in pole position to replace Merkel should the conservative bloc win next year's election.

Three men are currently vying for the job -- Armin Laschet, state premier of Germany's most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia, corporate lawyer Friedrich Merz and foreign affairs expert Norbert Roettgen.

But their battle has been overshadowed by the pandemic.

All three are anxious to regain the media spotlight, particularly as a fourth potential replacement for Merkel has emerged — not from the CDU, but from sister party CSU.

Agence France-Presse

Related articles