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Candidates to succeed Merkel can’t count on her support: Germany’s veteran leader promises to stay out of debate

Candidates to succeed Merkel can’t count on her support: Germany’s veteran leader promises to stay out of debate
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she is keeping out of any debate that will see the conservative bloc leader crowned, amid fears it could damage the alliance in the federal election at the end of September.

“I wanted to, want to, and will stay out of it,” Merkel told reporters on Tuesday when she was asked whether the struggle to succeed her as party leader could impact the alliance’s electoral performance. 

Merkel’s conservative bloc is poised to pick her successor in a two-man showdown between Christian Democrat party (CDU) chairman Armin Laschet or the leader of its sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), Markus Soeder. Each party has given its backing to its own leader after the two men officially threw their hats into the ring on Sunday. 

Also on rt.com Merkel’s party bigwigs back chair Armin Laschet to run for chancellor after competing bid from head of Bavarian sister party

Soeder and Laschet are expected at the meeting of the alliance parliamentary group on Tuesday afternoon. 

In 2018, Merkel told the media that she wouldn’t be standing for a fifth term, and she has stood by her remarks despite consistent talk that she may compete in 2021. The veteran leader, who took office in 2005, is now 66 and relinquished her parallel post of CDU chairman in 2018. 

Merkel’s successor as alliance leader will be the favorite to lead the country after the September election. Soeder, the premier of Bavaria, has higher poll ratings, while Laschet, the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia, leads Germany’s largest single party.

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