Angela Merkel’s party chooses Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to succeed her in Germany

Angela Merkel’s party chooses Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to succeed her in Germany

Angela Merkel’s party chooses Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to succeed her in Germany

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a 56-year-old Merkel acolyte, won the vote to succeed Merkel as head of Germany's Christian Democrats (CDU).

The 56-year-old, now CDU general secretary, beat Friedrich Merz by 517 to 482 votes to clinch the leadership position. She defeated Friedrich Merz in the second round of voting after Health Minister Jens Spahn was eliminated.

For the Europe Union, the installation of AKK ultimately means near-term political stability at a time of growing upheaval as the bloc wrestles with the fallout from Brexit and the rise of populism across the continent - including, of course, in Germany.

Merkel installed the former state premier from regional politics in February to end an ever-louder debate about her succession.

(AAP) German Chancellor Angela Merkel embraces her newly-elected replacement as CDU leader, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer became the first woman to serve as a state minister for internal affairs in 2000 and the first woman to serve as prime minister of Saarland, a position she held from 2011 to 2018.

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The contest's outcome is expected to be crucial in deciding whether the influential leader can realize her stated goal of completing her fourth term in 2021 and then leaving politics.

Already the party's general secretary, Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer won 450 votes, short of the 500 needed to confirm victory.

Outside of work, AKK is married with three sons.

What does she stand for?

But on what lies ahead for the CDU, Kramp-Karrenbauer said when campaigning: "I have no particular recipe".

She is seen as a pragmatic, level-headed politician, with an unpretentious style and a reputation for calm analysis as well as political acumen.

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Most controversially, she allowed large numbers of asylum-seekers into Germany in 2015.

Last month, Kramp-Karrenbauer told a business conference: "With every wish to take Europe forward with a German-French nucleus, the proposals must always fit with German interests". "One inherits the entire package, the positive as well as the negative".

"The CDU in 2018 must not look back but look forward, with new people. but with the same values", added Merkel, who has said she would remain neutral on her successor as party chief. "That's what we want".

Merkel surprised the country and her party in late October when she announced she would not seek reelection as CDU leader at the party conference in Hamburg after a series of poll setbacks rooted in controversy over her liberal refugee policy.

She reported members were full of "pride, frustration, concern and uncertainty".

"I'm maintaining absolutely neutrality on the question of the personnel decision, and I think that's absolutely right", she told reporters at a reception on Thursday night. "Being a people's party can not mean being a kind of all-purpose political shop that offers something for everyone".

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"In hard times we shouldn't forget our Christian and democratic stance", she said.

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