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Laschet not to change Germany's approach towards Turkey

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Almost 12 months of stand-by party chairmanship in Germany’s biggest party, the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), ended on Saturday, Jan. 16. Armin Laschet succeeded Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK), who took over for Angela Merkel in 2018, but declared on 10 February 2020 that they were stepping down and would run as the candidate for the elections in September 2021. Then came COVID-19. The necessary party congress to elect a new chairperson was postponed several times, then the party statutes were changed to allow for an online congress, which took place on Jan. 15-16.

The election of Laschet means continuity. Among the three candidates, he is the closest to Merkel’s policies. The other two, Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgens, would have meant more change. With Merz, we would have seen a more conservative, traditional, economy-friendly direction, but also more polarization and moving the party from the centre further to the right. Norbert Röttgens tried to position himself as an innovator who stood for a more feminine, digital, and modern party.

The party chairperson is not elected by the party members, of whom there are more than 400,000, but by delegates, of whom there are 1001. These are party functionaries, MPs on the national and regional level, mayors, and high-level bureaucrats. That is why almost no one openly endorsed a candidate, because no one wanted to end up in the loser's camp. This also made predicting an outcome more than difficult. In the........

© Duvar English

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