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Home / World News / German chancellor Angela Merkel’s party postpones congress to elect new leader: Reports

German chancellor Angela Merkel’s party postpones congress to elect new leader: Reports

Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) voted unanimously in favour of a proposal to decide in January on holding the meeting with 1,001 delegates amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The party congress was originally scheduled for December 4.

world Updated: Oct 26, 2020, 16:33 IST
Reuters | Posted by Karan Manral
Reuters | Posted by Karan Manral
Berlin
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the weekly cabinet meeting of the government at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany October 21, 2020. Markus Schreiber/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the weekly cabinet meeting of the government at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany October 21, 2020. Markus Schreiber/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo(REUTERS)

The executive committee of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) has decided to postpone the party congress planned for Dec. 4 to elect a new leader, sources within the CDU told Reuters on Monday.

The executive committee voted unanimously in favour of a proposal by party leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to decide on Jan. 16 whether it will be possible to hold the meeting with 1,001 delegates in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

If the pandemic situation is still unclear, the party will have to consider holding a virtual congress and allowing delegates to vote by mail, the sources said, although this would pose logistical challenges.

Merkel, in power since 2005, has said she will not seek re-election in federal elections due by October 2021. Kramp-Karrenbauer said in February she no longer wanted to succeed Merkel and would stand down as CDU leader.

So far, Armin Laschet, premier of the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, erstwhile Merkel rival Friedrich Merz, and foreign policy expert Norbert Roettgen are running to be chairman.

Laschet, who is positioning himself as the continuity candidate to succeed Merkel, had pushed for a postponement of the party congress, saying the CDU could not justify holding a conference at a time of rising coronavirus infections.

Merz, in contrast, has spoken out against a delay.

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