Issued on: 10/02/2020 – 11:25Modified: 10/02/2020 – 11:26
The woman widely seen as German Chancellor Angela Merkels chosen successor will not lead her crisis-racked CDU party into upcoming elections, a party source told AFP Monday.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, known as AKK, took over from Merkel as CDU chairwoman and presumed shoo-in for chancellor in 2018 but “has now said she will not be a candidate for the chancellery”, the source said.
She made the surprise announcement after telling a crunch CDU meeting that the centre-right party had “an unresolved relationship” with the far-right AfD party and the far left.
It comes after an election debacle in the state of Thuringia in which regional CDU lawmakers went rogue and voted in the same camp as MPs from the AfD to oust a far-left state premier.
AKK “will by the summer organise the process to find the (chancellor) candidate, further prepare the party for the future and then give up the leadership”, the source said.
The source added that Merkel wanted her to remain as defence minister, the post she has held since July.