Merkel ally becomes German conservative party's leader

09 December, 2018, 02:09 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Germany's conservative Christian Democratic Union party's Secretary General Annegret Kramp Karrenbauer waves on stage after she was elected as party's leader during the CDU congress

What does Ms Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer's appointment mean for Germany?

"Angela Merkel is one of our era's most globally respected leaders, a statesperson of formidable intellect, commitment, empathy, and principle", said Margaret Wang, president of the Harvard Alumni Association.

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.

Merkel also had a message for President Donald Trump, stating that her party had to show its strengths in an age of "growing renunciation of multilateralism" and in times of "reducing worldwide cooperation to the principles of deal-making".

"Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is Angela Merkel's desired successor and she is much closer aligned with the German chancellor than both of her competitors were".

"She is a safe bet: a centrist candidate who does not threaten nasty surprises", said Josef Joffe, publisher-editor of weekly Die Zeit.

The newly elected CDU head has previously opposed the idea of withdrawing support from the Nord Stream 2 project entirely, but suggested reducing the amount of gas obtained via the route from Russian Federation as a response to the recent Kerch incident involving Ukrainian naval ships.

Pointing to her stamina and political nouse, Bouffier pointed out that the Hamburg soccer club had been through 24 trainers and her rival Social Democrats 10 chairpeople in the 18 years Merkel had led the CDU.

The Social Democrats (SPD), junior partner in Merkel's ruling coalition, congratulated Kramp-Karrenbauer and offered to work constructively with her. She defeated Friedrich Merz in the second round of voting after Health Minister Jens Spahn was eliminated.

End of an era: Merkel passes torch to new party leader

She has avoided debates about Mrs Merkel's decision to accept large numbers of refugees into Germany in 2015, but at other times has advocated a tough anti-migrant stance, proposing a life ban on entry to Europe for asylum seekers convicted of serious crimes.

"The earlier it would fall, the higher the chance Merz would run for chancellor candidate for the CDU".

Merkel listed some of those moments and many more in a half-hour farewell speech as leader, telling delegates that 'our CDU today is different from the year 2000, and that is a good thing'.

In his speech, Merz highlighted the need to tackle the "intolerable" success of the far-right Alternative for Germany party and called for a more combative approach toward the CDU's rivals in the political center ground.

Even AKK herself said there was nothing mini about her as a 56-year-old woman with grown-up children and an entire political career of her own. In the 2013 election, they won 41.5 percent of the vote and only just fell short of an outright parliamentary majority.

"Whether it's the rejection of multilateralism, the return to nationalism, the reduction of worldwide cooperation to deal-making or threatened trade wars. hybrid warfare, destablisation of societies with fake news or the future of our European Union - we Christian Democrats must show in the face of all these challenges what we've got", she said.

"I hope we emerge from this party conference well-equipped, motivated and united", Merkel said. 'I have always wanted to do my government and party jobs with dignity, and one day to leave them with dignity'.

"In times like these, we will defend our liberal views, our way of life, both at home and overseas", Merkel told deputies according to Reuters. Delegates held up signs reading: "Thank You, Boss".

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