Friedrich Merz becomes leader of German Christian Democrats


Central Europe


Friedrich Merz. Photo EPA, Filip Singer

Former CDU-party leader Friedrich Merz (66) has become party leader of the German Christian Democrats. The CDU elected him after the party's election defeat in September.

Merz got the necessary absolute majority of the members behind him and will be the successor of Armin Laschet, writes German daily Der Tagesspiegel.

Merz, a former judge, won the battle for the presidency over Helge Braun and Nobert Röttgen with 62.1 per cent of the vote. Nearly two-thirds of the 400,000 party members cast a vote. With Merz at the helm, the CDU is expected to take a more conservative course. His new role will be made official in just over a month at a party congress in Hanover.

Merz also applied to lead the CDU three years ago but then lost to Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. After she left, he lost to Armin Laschet at the beginning of this year. Lachet announced his departure after the lost elections.

The CDU of the former chancellor Angela Merkel received less than 19 per cent of the vote at the national elections, an all-time low. Together with the Bavarian Christian Democrats of the CSU, they got 24 per cent and went into the opposition. The Social Democratic SPD has formed a government with the Greens and the liberal FDP.



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