THE German Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) is due to vote on a replacement for Angela Merkel on Friday. But will the right-leaning likely successor and his election opponent spell the end of Merkel’s Chancellorship and become German leader themselves?
Angela Merkel faced a crushing defeat after the CDU voted for her to step down as leader in September, after 13 years of leading Germany’s top conservative political party. Mrs Merkel’s authority was called into question over her handling of Germany’s “open migration” policy, when she allowed 1.1 million refugees passage into Germany at the height of the European migrant crisis. It resulted in the German leader announcing she would not stand for CDU leadership at the party convention this month and as Chancellor in 2021.
But will two opponents for the next CDU leadership term – the victor of which will be announced on December 10 – spell the end of Mrs Merkel’s chancellorship before the federal elections in 2021?
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is the continuity candidate, and Angela Merkel’s preferred successor, Friedrich Merz, wants to take the party back towards the right.
Analysts at the Economist Intelligence Unit believe Mr Merz will shift the left-leaning party to the right, echoing a rise in nationalist sentiment among voters and support for the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
It would potentially cause a gap between the party’s policies and Mrs Merkel’s own politics.