Published: Tue, February 20, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Merkel taps ally for crucial party job, grooms successor

Merkel taps ally for crucial party job, grooms successor

Merkel on Monday appointed close ally and confidante Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as secretary general of her Christian Democratic union (CDU).

Engaged in local CDU politics for more than three decades, Mrs. Kramp-Karrenbauer has made a name for herself as a successful regional politician in Germany's smallest state, Saarland.

The German Chancellor stressed Mrs Kramp-Karrenbauer's promotion will strengthen the CDU amid speculation Mrs Merkel's fourth term in power will be her last.

The appointment puts Kramp-Karrenbauer in a position to succeed the chancellor as leader of the CDU in four years at the latest, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

The decision is significant as some CDU members are starting to look ahead to a post-Merkel era and think about potential alternatives to lead their party and country.

By appointing the up-and-coming AKK to a top CDU role, Merkel is in part responding to critics who have been calling for fresh faces to reinvigorate the party after its disappointing showing in September's general election.

The star of Kramp-Karrenbauer, also known as AKK, has been on the rise since her re-election a year ago.

CBI arrests three people in $1.8 billion PNB fraud case
Searches at various other properties linked to Modi and his wife Ami, including two residences, were conducted earlier. While authorities said they did not know their whereabouts, broadcaster NDTV had tracked Modi to a hotel in NY .

Morgan Newfield economists say the poll also revealed that nearly half of Germans would like to see Merkel serve another full term as Chancellor with 5 percent less than the remaining half preferring to see a successor serve within the next four years.

Described as a pragmatic and unpretentious politician from the CDU's centrist camp, AKK is seen as a safe choice to preserve the chancellor's legacy.

"There's not a task you can't trust Annegret with", the CDU's then-Saarland premier Peter Mueller said in 2000 when AKK became Germany's first woman to be named state interior minister.

A staunch Catholic and mother-of-three, AKK could also appeal to the more conservative wing of the CDU, which has accused Dr Merkel of undermining the party's traditional values. Amid a menacing SPD resurgence under Martin Schulz, her triumphant re-election didn't go unnoticed, as Merkel congratulated AKK, presenting her with a bouquet of flowers.

The CDU and the Social Democrats (SPD), both weakened by the elections, finally reluctantly renewed their left-right "grand coalition" or "GroKo" last week.

The SPD will vote on the coalition deal later this month with a result expected on March 4.

Like this: