Choosing Merkel’s Successor: None of the Above?

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Publication Date 12/01/2021
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The German Christian Democrats (CDU) need a new party leader, after Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, or AKK for short, failed to fill Angela Merkel’s shoes and resigned in February 2020.

This next CDU leader has a good chance of becoming the conservative candidate for chancellor in the German elections autumn 2021. But winning the election is another matter. Merkel’s approval rating still stands at a whopping 84 per cent after almost 16 years in power – in part because the pandemic has reaffirmed her image as Europe’s foremost crisis manager. No successor will have Merkel’s broad appeal and be able to hold onto that support once the pandemic is over. But some have a better chance than others. Considering the CDU candidates on offer, the timing in September 2021 and the opposition, the German election is wide open.

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