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BERLIN – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party has elected Armin Laschet, the pragmatic governor of the most populous federal state, as the new leader and, months before an election, has sent a signal of continuity in which the voters decide who the new one will be Chancellor becomes

Laschet defeated Friedrich Merz, a conservative and unique Merkel rival, at an online congress of the Christian Democratic Union on Saturday

He won 521 votes to Merz ‘466; A third candidate, the prominent lawmaker Norbert Roettgen, was eliminated in a first round of elections

Saturday’s vote is not the last word on who will run as the center-right candidate for Chancellor in September 26 elections, but Laschet will either run for Chancellor or have a large say in the election

At an online meeting of the CDU, there were no clear favorites for the vote on Saturday. A first round of voting under around 1000 delegates led to a virtual tie between Merz and Laschet, neither of which won the majority

The 59-year-old Laschet is governor of the most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia – a traditional center-left stronghold in which he won the elections in 2017.He is seen more in line with Merkel’s pragmatic centrism and pointed to the value of on Saturday Continuity and moderation towards

“We have to speak clearly, but not polarize,” he told the delegates. “We have to be able to integrate and keep society together”

The decision ends an eleven-month suspension of leadership in the CDU after Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was once favored, had not imposed her authority on the party and announced her resignation.A vote on her successor was postponed twice because of the coronavirus pandemic

The CDU, together with the exclusively Bavarian Christian-Social Union, is part of the Union bloc, and the two parties will jointly decide on the center-right candidate. The Union currently has a healthy lead in polls, thanks to positive reviews of Merkel’s handling of the pandemic is supported

CSU boss Markus Soeder, the Bavarian governor, is widely regarded as a potential candidate after he gained political stature during the pandemic.Some also consider Health Minister Jens Spahn, who is running as deputy CDU leader under Laschet, to be a possible candidate

Merkel, who has been Chancellor since 2005, announced at the end of 2018 that she would not seek a fifth term of office

Angela Merkel

World News – USA – Pragmatic German governor elected to lead Merkel’s party

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/pragmatic-german-governor-armin-laschet-elected-lead-angela-merkel-s-n1254506