New CDU leader may herald a Merkel-era without Merkel

The election of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as the new head of the German Christian Democratic Union seems to indicate the continuation of the Merkel-era without Angela Merkel, political analyst István Pócza told opinion portal Mandiner in an interview.

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The CDU election was essentially Merkel’s victory, Pócza said, given that her candidate won the party presidency. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (or AKK in short) is the creation of Merkel and indeed, she is also called mini-Merkel in Germany.

There are two reasons for the decision, a practical and an emotional one. The practical reason is that the CDU wishes to avoid unnecessary frictions between the Chancellor and party for fear that the any such friction would ultimately mean a loss of voters.

The emotional reason is the widespread opinion among CDU members that under Merkel’s rule the party enjoyed uninterrupted success and the direction should be kept. While in the last two years the CDU has been in decline, the majority believes that this is only a temporary setback and Merkel’s policies could only bring success to the party.

Pócza said AKK will probably continue Merkel’s migration policy on the one hand stating that migration is essentially good for Germany while on the other hand also imposing some technical restrictions on immigration. He said this is somewhat unfortunate in the sense that the country’s migration policy will remain contradictory.

The analyst said that AKK’s election as party leader does not automatically mean she will be the party’s candidate for chancellor in 2021, but will be decided later based on her actual performance.

At the weekend electoral congress of the CDU Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was elected in the second round of the votes with a 51.7 percent majority.

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