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Merkel’s party chooses new leader ahead of German election

AP News reports that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party is choosing a new leader this weekend, a decision that will help shape German voters’ choice of a successor to Merkel at the helm of the European Union’s biggest economy after her 16-year reign.

Merkel, now 66, has steered Germany, and Europe, through a series of crises since she took office in 2005. But she said over two years ago that she won’t seek a fifth term as chancellor.

Now her Christian Democratic Union party is seeking its second new leader since she quit that role in 2018. That person will either run for chancellor in Germany’s Sept. 26 election or have a big say in who does run.

Current leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced her resignation last February after failing to impose her authority on the party. A decision on her successor was delayed repeatedly by the coronavirus pandemic. Eventually, the CDU decided to hold an online convention this weekend.

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