Angela Merkel's party elects a successor as she begins her exit from German politics - NPR

German Chancellor and leader of German Christian Democrats Angela Merkel hails after her last speech as party leader on Friday in Hamburg, Germany.

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In the first round of voting on Friday, Kramp-Karrenbauer arrived by receiving first 450 votes from the delegates, but did not get a majority. Then a runoff between her and the second best wizard Merz was held. Merz, 63, advocates a more conservative and harsher approach of the party than Merkel and, in recent weeks, has advocated a more combative approach to silence those of the CDU center.

Kramp-Karrenbauer beat Merz shortly in the ballot by winning 517 votes in his 482. After the results were announced, a crying Kramp-Karrenbauer embraced Merkel and kissed her cheek. Merkel, a mentor of the newly elected successor, smiled broadly and seemed happier than he had for months, while now facing a less turbulent transition from a political standpoint when he hands over the government at the end of his office as chancellor in 2021 .

Kramp-Karrenbauer, who was once the premier of the small German state of the Saar and relatively new on the national political stage, is practically sure to be the successor candidate of the CDU to the chancellor in those German national elections. But the mother of three also inherits the difficult task of ending the CDU's poor success in the last three years in local, regional and national elections, as well as reconquering hundreds of thousands of voters.

Many of them abandoned the right-wing alternative for Germany on Merkel's controversial decision to openly welcome asylum seekers in 2015 when hundreds of thousands of Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans and others traveled to Germany and other countries of the European Union to escape war and poverty.

After his victory, Kramp-Karrenbauer immediately extended a branch of olive oil to Merz and his other key adversary, the German health minister Jens Spahn.

"There is a place for both in this party," said Kramp-Karrenbauer, adding the renewed confidence that the party elections have aroused in the Germans "must continue and must be connected with the goal that unites us all, to preserve and form the party of our great people. "

Some German observers predict that even if his CDU party joins behind her in the next few years, Kramp-Karrenbauer has a long way to go to persuade German voters and the great European Union to be a stabilizing and powerful chancellor like Merkel.

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