In Germany, the CDU chooses continuity by wearing Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer at the head

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) applauds Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer's victory in Hamburg on December 7th.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) applauds Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer's victory in Hamburg on December 7th. Markus Schreiber / AP

The desire for stability prevailed over the desire to break. By electing Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to the presidency of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) on Friday 7 December, the 1,001 delegates of the German Conservative Party, meeting at a congress in Hamburg, made the choice of continuity: of the three contenders After the succession of Angela Merkel to Head of the CDU, the former minister-president of the Saarland was the chancellor's candidate, even though the chancellor had refrained from calling explicitly to vote in his favor.

For Mmyself Merkel, who presided over the CDU from April 2000, this victory is a relief. Just a few weeks ago, the German chancellor was elected president of the CDU until the end of the legislature in 2021. But the party's defeat in the regional elections in Hessen (27%, – 11.3 points to refer to 2013), on 28 October , had forced her to review her plans and announce, against all odds, that she would not seek re-election as head of the CDU at the Congress of Hamburg. At the risk of passing his hand to one of his opponents internally.

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This scenario has almost happened. Friday, it was really just a rival of the old Mmyself Merkel, Friedrich Merz, is elected to lead the CDU. The former 63-year-old deputy who was converted into business since his departure from the Bundestag in 2009 was only 35 years oldmyself Kramp-Karrenbauer, who won with only 51.7% of the votes in the second round. A third candidate was in the running: Jens Spahn, 38, Minister of Health. Eliminated in the first round, this lawyer of a "Modern conservatism" He also defended a line that breaks with that of the chancellor, more liberal from the economic point of view and more correct on the issue of migration.

A revenge to be taken

Withdrawn from politics, Merz had a revenge on Mmyself Merkel, who in 2002 expelled him from the presidency of the Bundestag parliamentary group CDU-CSU. Several party heavyweights supported him. Beginning with the former finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Himself dethroned by Mmyself Merkel of the presidency of the CDU, in 2000, the president of the Bundestag had pronounced Tuesday, in favor of Mr. Merz.

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This support has revived old hatreds, to the point that M.myself Merkel, in her farewell discourse, could not avoid recalling the case of "black money" that poisoned the party when she became president, and who had been sketched at the time M Schäuble and the heirs of Helmut Kohl. Supported by the business community and the most conservative wing of the CDU, Mr. Merz was also the champion of the old guard of the CDU, eager to finally turn the page on the long reign of Mmyself Merkel.

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