Angela Merkel succession: Rogue candidate could bypass leading hopefuls to be Chancellor

Germany elections: Jens Spahn ‘posible contender’ says expert

Political author Matthew Qvortrup believes the internal party elections in Germany to replace Angela Merkel could see an outsider draw ahead in the race to become the next Chancellor.  Mr Qvortrup suggested the Chancellor’s Health Minister Jens Spahn could emerge as a contender despite being written off as a favourite in the race. There are currently three leading candidates to replace Ms Merkel but political scientist believes Mr Spahn could yet emerge from the pack.

Mr Qvortrup told TRT Roundtable that there was “no guarantee” that any of the current leading runners in the race to replace Ms Merkel would be the eventual candidate in the Federal Election scheduled for next September.

He described Mr Spahn as the “most popular politician in Germany.”

Mr Qvortrup also tipped Markus Söder to do well in the race, describing him as a “hardman” who used to be “completely written off” but is now a “possible contender” for the post.

Mr Söder is the Leader of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, the sister part of Chancellor Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Union party.

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Back in 2018, the German Chancellor announced she would stand down as leader of the Christian Democrat Union (CDU) at the party convention and would not seek a fifth term this year.

But back in February 2020, Ms Merkel’s chosen successor, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, resigned throwing the leadership elections wide open.

Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer announced she would step down as CDU leader following a controversial election in the German state of Thuringia.

This saw Ms Merkel’s political rival Friedrich Merz move to take “late revenge” and replace her.

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He continued: “For the first time in our post-war history, we will have an election where the outgoing chancellor does not run as a candidate.

“We cannot keep saying; have both x and y.

“We cannot keep saying yes and no at the same time.”

But the move led some CDU members to claimed Merz’s leadership bid was personal.

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One source told the Financial Times: “It’s a belated revenge on Merkel, who dropped him like a hot potato.”

Mr Merz and Ms Merkel have had a turbulent relationship after the Chancellor drove him out as head of the party’s group of MPs in the Bundestag in 2002.

The lawyer dismissed the accusations he has a score to settle with Ms Merkel as “absurd”.

He said: “Ms Merkel and I had an arrangement, and she didn’t stick to it. But it’s okay. That was 20 years ago.”

 

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