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The race to succeed Germany’s Angela Merkel just got more exciting

It was never going to be easy to find a successor to Angela Merkel, German chancellor for the last 16 years. But the race has just become even more complicated, with two rivals contesting the conservative ticket. The obvious conservative candidate in the upcoming German election would be Armin Laschet, head of the North Rhine-Westphalia state. He was elected leader of Merkel’s CDU party in January and claims he wants to modernize Germany.

That was until Markus Soeder, from the Bavarian sister party, the CSU, threw his hat in the ring. Soeder is arguably the most popular man in German politics. “It has always been clear that the race to Angela Merkel’s succession will be long and will not follow a straight line. It might not be a blockbuster movie but rather a binge-viewing-worthy political series,” Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING Germany, said in a note on Tuesday.

When it comes to federal elections, the CDU and CSU act together — and so will only field one candidate. CDU lawmakers will discuss who that should be on Tuesday and hope to come to a decision this week. But it will be a difficult choice between their party leader and someone as popular as Soeder.

Germany’s conservative party has seen its popularity fall since January, when the coronavirus pandemic began to worsen in the country. It is finally set to harmonize lockdown rules in an effort to contain a third wave of cases. This comes after the population expressed frustration at how the rules have differed from region to region ever since the initial outbreak of the Covid-19.

The race to succeed Germany’s Angela Merkel just got more exciting, CNBC, Apr 14

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