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German CDU confirms Laschet as new leader

Germany’s Christian Democrats have confirmed centrist Armin Laschet as their new party leader after a postal ballot which was required to legally uphold his election by delegates in a digital vote.

Laschet, premier of Germany’s most populous state, won 83.35 per cent of the valid postal votes cast by 1001 delegates, the CDU said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe’s predominant politician and a consistent winner with German voters since taking office in 2005, has said she will not run for chancellor again in September’s federal election.

Since she stepped down as CDU leader in December 2018, the party has struggled to find a suitable successor.

Germany’s political establishment is currently gearing up for a slew of elections, including a poll in September that will determine who replaces Merkel.

Whoever is leader of the CDU is traditionally the party’s candidate for chancellor.

Laschet, an ally of Merkel and premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, fended off a challenge from wealthy corporate lawyer Friedrich Merz in a convention vote due to the pandemic.

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