photo credit: dirkvorderstrasse (flickr)
Armin Laschet, the premier of North-Rhine Westphalia, has been elected leader of Germany's Christian Democrats, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
- Laschet defeated a conservative Friedrich Merz at an online convention of the CDU, winning 521 votes to Merz's 466.
- The third candidate on the ballot, the foreign policy specialist Norbert Röttgen, was eliminated in the first round of voting.
- Laschet is viewed as a pragmatic politician - he's likely to continue the same political-center path with the CDU as Merkel.
- “We’ll only win if we remain strong in the center of society,” Lashet said in his speech, which was viewed online by the 1,001 delegates.
- It is not yet clear if Laschet will run for Chancellor himself in Germany's September 26 election, in any case, he will have a big say in who does.
- Merkel stepped down as CDU chair in December 2018.
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