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Weekly update: Merkel's successor decided

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

By Jack Turner

And so Merkel’s replacement has finally been decided, with Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer succeeding her as CDU chairman following a tightly ran election decided by just 35 votes. See here for a profile on the new party leader and here for a comprehensive to-do list she faces in order to return the CDU to its former glory.

Kramp-Karrenbauer’s first action was to propose Paul Ziemiak as her direct successor to the role of secretary-general.

This proposition was met with approval, albeit lukewarm, as he was elected with 62.8% of the votes. It has been suggested by political commentators that the man dubbed “Mini-Merz” was put forward by Kramp-Karrenbauer to appease the more conservative members of the party, and bring about some much-needed unity.

Merkel took the opportunity to say farewell in her final speech as CDU boss, describing her 18-year stead as an “honour”. See brief highlights with English subtitles here.

Elsewhere, the CDU have expressed their desire to cancel environmental aid funds, a wish that has been met with criticism and controversy. Seeing as Germany was recently awarded “Fossil of the Day” by an environmental protection group for its continued inability to reach its targets, this criticism should come as no surprise.


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