Vastavam web: The leader of Germany’s ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) and heir presumptive to Angela Merkel said she had no ambition to succeed her as chancellor until 2021 ahead of a major test of popularity at this month’s European election. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who last December won a party leadership contest as Merkel – Europe’s longest-serving leader – sets the stage for her gradual exit from politics, said she had no desire to accelerate the process
Merkel, 64, has run Germany since 2005 but agreed to step down as CDU leader after losing votes in the 2017 general election to the far-right Alternative for Germany, which ran on an anti-immigration platform. Kramp-Karrenbauer, known as AKK for short, has since struggled to make an impression. Support for the CDU is running at around 30 percent ahead of the May 23 election to the European Parliament – less than Merkel’s general election tally.
The division of leadership roles had created room for speculation that there was a lack of harmony, she added: “That doesn’t leave the party unaffected.” Kramp-Karrenbauer said, however, that her relationship with Merkel is “very good, as ever”.