Annegreat Kramp- Karrenbauer is Merkels successor

The Christian Democrats have chosen Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to lead the CDU into its next phase. Ms Merkel has been the leader of the CDU since 2000 and the Chancellor of Germany since 2005. Angela Merkel is a German politician who has been serving as Chancellor of Germany...

The Christian Democrats have chosen Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to lead the CDU into its next phase. Previous head, Angela Merkel has been the leader of the CDU since 2000 and the Chancellor of Germany since 2005.

Background

Angela Merkel is a German politician who has been serving as Chancellor of Germany since 2005 and is the leader of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since 2000. Merkel is known to the world as the de facto leader of the European Union, the most powerful woman in the world, and the leader of the Free World.

Post Germany’s reunification in 1990, Merkel was elected to the Bundestag, the German federal parliament, for the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and has been reelected since. Merkel was chosen as the Federal Minister for Women and Youth in Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s government in 1991 and became the Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in 1994. After losing the federal elections in 1998, Merkel was elected Secretary-General of the CDU before being appointed as the party's first female leader.

After the federal elections of 2005, she was appointed Germany's first female Chancellor. The CDU received the highest number of votes in the 2009 federal election, allowing Merkel to form a coalition government with the Free Democratic Party (FDP). In 2013, CDU won a massive victory with 41.5% of the vote and formed a second grand coalition with the Social Democratic Party. The CDU won once again in the 2017 federal election and Merkel was reelected to her fourth term on March 14, 2018.

Merkel was President of the European Council in 2007 and played a key role in the negotiation of the Treaty of Lisbon and the Berlin Declaration. As of March 26, 2014, Merkel became the longest-serving head of government in the European Union.

Analysis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s time as the leader of the CDU is drawing to a close as the party is looking to elect the next leader.

The frontrunners are Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a Merkel protege seen as the continuity candidate, and Friedrich Merz, a Merkel rival who has questioned the constitutional guarantee of asylum to all “politically persecuted”. He also believes Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, should contribute more to the European Union.

Merkel said in October 2018 that she would step down as party chief but remain, Chancellor, an effort to manage her exit after a series of setbacks since her divisive decision in 2015 to keep German borders open to refugees fleeing war in the Middle East. The new CDU leader will be chosen by 1,001 delegates who vote at a party congress in Hamburg. The winner will likely lead the CDU in the next federal election due by October 2021.

A survey by pollster Infratest dimap for broadcaster ARD on Thursday showed 47 percent of CDU members favoured Kramp-Karrenbauer compared with 37 percent for Merz and 12 percent for Health Minister Jens Spahn.

Merz, 63, who lost out to Merkel in a power struggle in 2002 and is returning to politics after a decade in business, is backed by CDU members who are tired of Merkel’s consensual politics. He won support this week from party veteran Wolfgang Schaeuble.

Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, a Merkel ally, said: “I am convinced that with Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer we have the best chance of the CDU winning an election,” adding she would be the most dangerous candidate to face the centre-left Social Democrats and the ecologist Greens.

Kramp-Karrenbauer’s trump card is her record as former state premier in Saarland, where she led a broad coalition with the Greens and pro-business Free Democrats, alliance-building skills useful in Germany’s fractured political landscape.

She has also differentiated herself from Merkel on social and foreign policy by voting in favour of quotas for women on corporate boards, opposed by Merkel, and by taking a tougher line on Russia. She told Reuters last week Europe and the United States should consider blockading Russian ships over the Ukraine crisis.

Assessment

Our assessment is that Ms. Merkel’s time as the leader of the CDU will be remembered as one of modern Germany’s most prosperous political eras. We believe that Ms. Merkel’s successor should look to establish his/her own leadership and should not rely on Angela Merkel’s past laurels.   

 

Comments