Merkel Names Loyalist to Key Party Post in Signal on Succession


German Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided to appoint a party loyalist who has been floated as a potential successor to the post of general secretary of her Christian Democratic Union.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the CDU premier of the western state of Saarland, will succeed Peter Tauber, according to a party official familiar with the decision, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Tauber confirmed on Monday he is stepping down.

Kramp-Karrenbauer, left, and Merkel

Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Kramp-Karrenbauer, 55, a centrist who supported Merkel’s initial open-border policy during the 2015-2016 refugee crisis, has been on the short list of party grandees considered to eventually replace Merkel. Her promotion is a slap to CDU critics of the chancellor, though it may make it more likely one of their number will get a cabinet post.

The general secretary manages the party and oversees election campaigns. Merkel herself took the job in 1998 after the CDU was ousted from government after 16 years in power under Helmut Kohl. Less than two years later she took over the party leadership.



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