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Merkel loyalist elected as new CDU party leader

Merkel loyalist elected as new CDU party leader

Mrs Kramp-Karrenbauer, previously the CDU's general-secretary, faces the hard task of uniting the divided party after a series of bad election results. (AAP) Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer reacts as she is elected the new leader of Germany's CDU party. However, it is possible that the next election could come earlier.

A lot of them defected to the far-right Alternative for Germany over Merkel's controversial decision to openly welcome asylum seekers back in 2015 when hundreds of thousands of Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans and others came to Germany and other European Union countries to escape war and poverty.

"Europe most likely escaped a more assertive course that Merz and certainly Spahn would have pursued on Eurozone reform".

Then the conservative party paid tribute to Ms Merkel, 64, with a video showing highlights from her 18-year CDU leadership.

In her farewell speech as party leader, Mrs Merkel praised AKK's 2017 electoral success in Saarland, in a clear hint of the chancellor's personal preference in the leadership race.

She was quick to call for party unity after defeating Merz 517-482 on Friday, saying "there is a place in this party" for Merz and Health Minister Jens Spahn, who was eliminated in a first round of voting at a congress in Hamburg.

She was elected to the German parliament in 1990 and was elected secretary-general of her party in 1998.

Ahead of her election as party leader, Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer went on a "listening tour" to find out what her party's grassroots wanted.

Former MLB players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo killed in car crash
Valbuena was a lifetime.226 hitter, but he batted.287 in 52 career games against the Rangers with five homers and 26 RBIs. His final season in Major League Baseball was with the Astros.

Merkel, however, recalled that the CDU was in a deep crisis when she took over in 2000, mired in a party financing scandal surrounding ex-Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Now the head of Germany's largest party, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, 56, could become the next German chancellor.

She told Reuters news agency last week Europe and the United States should consider blockading Russian ships over the Ukraine crisis. She has moved her party relentlessly to the centre, dropping military conscription, accelerating Germany's exit from nuclear energy and introducing benefits encouraging fathers to look after their young children. She also allowed the introduction of gay marriage, which Kramp-Karrenbauer was more vehement in opposing. She has indicated she would implement tougher rules on migrants, telling a German newspaper that while she owes much to Merkel, they have different views on a number of issues, and criticising her predecessor's "lack of consistent explanation on migration policy".

'We are in demanding times today, no doubt about that, ' she said.

Polling at around 30% - down from the 41.5% with which they won the 2013 vote - the party have lost votes to both the far-right Alternative for Germany and the liberal Green Party.

While Merkel remains popular, AKK inherits a diminished party which is now polling at roughly 30 percent, far below the about 40 percent enjoyed during Merkel's heyday.

"We are facing a turning point and need a breakthrough for the next years". And I would say the result in that today she can not continue to be the head of the party, this is the success of the opposition work from the Alternative for Germany party.

"The election of AKK as leader of the CDU is an indication of the continuing strength of Angela Merkel in her party. Dear delegates, I stand before you as I am and as life made me and I am proud of that", Kramp-Karrenbauer said in a passionate speech to the congress.


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