Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has been elected successor of Angela Merkel to the front of the centre-right German. In a tight vote, a thousand delegates of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has opted for the continuation of his legacy centrist Merkel in front of the candidate disruptive, Friedrich Merz, who proposed a turn to the right. The tight vote, in which the winner has obtained 517 votes, as opposed to 482 of its rival, has shown the deep division of a match low hours, diminished by the advance of the extreme right.

The winner now stands in the first line to become the next German chancellor. Kramp-Karrenbauer, known as AKK, was the candidate preferred by Merkel, who plans to continue at the forefront of the German Government until 2021. The triumph of AKK away the ghost of early elections; a scenario much more likely to have gained Merz. The coexistence policy with him would have been complicated to be an opponent of the historic chancellor, who relegated in 2002, when he was head of the parliamentary group.


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it Has been necessary a second round to give the winner. In the first, none of the candidates won a sufficient majority, and the delegates returned to vote with Jens Spahn, the third candidate, out of the race. “It is clear there is going to be a new beginning. That has been a excessive status quo”, explains to this newspaper after the vote, a senior official of the party, visibly disappointed. The next few weeks will be key to know to what extent AKK is willing to incorporate into the dome to representatives of the wing is more conservative, who have offered massive support to Merz.

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU), rules in coalition with the social democrats and faces like the rest of the traditional parties of Europe to a considerable loss of votes, due in part to the rise of the populism of the extreme right.

Nine long minutes of applause for Merkel

Spoke to Angela Merkel and the grand hall of the palace of congresses of Hamburg dismissed her in the foot with nine long minutes of applause. The policy that has directed with firmness the centre-right German for 18 years, has said goodbye to his party. “The time has come to move to a new stage,” said the chancellor, who plans to continue as chancellor of Germany until 2021. “Thanks, chief,” read some placards oranges that filled this Friday the hall in which the congress party.

“I want to leave motivated and united in this match. I am confident that we will achieve it,” said the chancellor in his speech, after the speech of the two men and the woman who aspired to succeed her. The triumph of his protected, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, filled of joy to the chancellor, not given to showing his emotions, but yesterday did not hide his satisfaction.

Three candidates are running to succeed Merkel as head of the party: Kramp-Karrenbauer, the candidate of a continuation of the legacy of the chancellor; Merz, representative of the rupture and the return to the values traditional conservative party; and with less options, Spahn, minister of Health and the ombudsman also of a turn to the right. They were called to vote 1.001 delegates, representatives of the party throughout the country.

In the TOU coexists with an intense desire for change and renewal with the hope that the new figure is able to unite a party fractured mainly by the crisis of immigration that began in 2015 and that has resulted in the arrival of a million and a half asylum-seekers to Germany. The party accuses Merkel of having lost control of the borders of the country.

he Explained the dilemma to this newspaper shortly before the vote Fritz Güntzler, mp and one of the delegates called to decide. “AKK is a choice more strategic and Merz a more emotional. It is the messiah who promises to resurrect the old TOU. He draws the soldiers; she to the officers,” he thinks Güntzler. As he spoke, around many of the delegates were marking the ballot with your vote.

The activists and delegates want, above all, that İllegal Bahis the new president is able to slow down the haemorrhaging of votes. 41.5% for the CDU achieved in 2015 now seems a fantasy. The surveys of voting intentions indicate that, the election were held today, would win 27.5% of the votes.

The problem is that renewal and cohesion are not ambitions necessarily compatible to the view of the candidates. If Merz or even Spahn represented more or less what’s new, these are the figures that polarize a lot and hardly could put a bridge in the game. AKK, on the contrary, it is the figure of consensus, able to wrap around to the different currents that exist in the CDU, but at the same time symbolizes the apparatus to more traditional match and up to a certain point, the continuity of the era Merkel.

AKK gave a speech much applauded, which called for courage of the party to cope with the turbulence of a world that is facing profound changes. “It is not enough with an attack to the political rival. We have to have our own ideas”. He spoke about the european elections and how the TOU should be able to create a Europe that is “resistant to eurocrisis and with shared security interests”. He spoke of the digitization, education and public services. Called to end the divisions in the party. “For me there’s only one Union”.

Then it was the turn of Merz, also much applauded, and in which he considered the success of the extreme right “unbearable”. The candidate emphasized the need to connect with voters and ensure the security of the people “that you don’t feel safe out on the street and that he has lost confidence in that we will be able to solve their problems.” And he said that the citizens expect that “the State has control of its borders”, in clear allusion to the immigration policy of Angela Merkel. Merz also called to mark differences with the SPD, the social democratic party with the conservatives govern in coalition. “This congress must mark a new beginning”, he asked.

In the great hall of the palace of Hamburg there was this morning an atmosphere effervescent. Since 1971 there had not been an election like it and from the first hour of the morning the delegates were taking a seat. “This is very exciting. For years we did not have this opportunity. This can be a historical congress”, says Sabine Verheyen, while taking a seat. Represents the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the delegation, more numerous and more believe that it is important to “vote for someone who can organize and unite the party, alguien who is capable of working with Merkel in the current grand coalition government. This country needs stability.” That person is her AKK. “It is not a mini Merkel as they say, in many respects is more conservative than her,” she says.

Andre Kuper, head of group rows in the Rhineland, the North and also delegate, acknowledges that “there is a resentment very strong in the match against Merkel by moving away from the traditional values conservatives”. You think that Merz is able to retrieve votes for the party, but also thinks that his wealth —he is a candidate, a millionaire, with two planes on the property— away from the average citizen.

Others, like Kristi Waldhem, of Hanover, has decided to wait to listen to the candidates in Hamburg. “We want someone whose submission is not a fight against Merkel, but rather to contribute content and a profile for the party,” he explains.

Kramp-Karrenbauer is the policy appointed by Angela Merkel to succeed her as head of the party. In February, she was named secretary general of the CDU in a first leap to national politics. AKK has extensive experience in the regional Government of Saarland, a small State to the west of the country, where he has been minister of the Interior and regional head of Government of the Saarland. Your choice would involve an orderly transition, with Merkel at the front of the chancellery.

Merz is the prodigal son who wanted to return to the game after ten years in the private sector. Represents those who wish that the party go back to their roots, because he believes that the socialdemocratización Merkel has led them to a defeat at the polls. Promised to give a higher profile to the game and distinguish it from other formations, that is to say, of the social democrats (SPD) with which the CDU governs in a grand coalition. Promised to recover the votes migrated to the far right and groups discontent with the management of Merkel in recent years.

In the final stretch of the race succession has been much talked about how to recover voters who have gone over to the extreme right and the discourse of applicants is getting sick of the issues with that triumph the extremists, mainly the immigration. It is true that in the general of 2017, a million of voters of the CDU moved to the extreme right, but it is also true that that is a figure somewhat less than the sum of the votes the centre-right received from former voters of the social democrats and The Greens (1.120.000). That is to say, the shift to the center of Merkel added more than subtracted.