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Germany’s CDU party elects Friedrich Merz, 66, new leader – Metro US

Germany’s CDU party elects Friedrich Merz, 66, new leader

CDU party chairman candidates Braun, Merz and Roettgen attend a
CDU party chairman candidates Braun, Merz and Roettgen attend a news conference, in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s centre-right Christian Democrats elected Friedrich Merz their leader to follow Armin Laschet, who lost September’s national election to Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats.

Merz, a right-winger, is popular with party membership and has promised a break with the centrist course pursued by Angela Merkel during her 16-year tenure as chancellor.

His rivals Norbert Roettgen and Helge Braun had both positioned themselves as Merkel’s heirs.

The 66-year-old succeeded on his third attempt to win the party’s presidency, gaining 62.1% of the membership votes.

A lawyer from western Germany, Merz was a senior legislator in the early 2000s before quitting to pursue a lucrative career with asset manager Black Rock. He returned to the German parliament in 2021.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt, Editing by Miranda Murray)

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