INTERVIEW-Germany's Kramp-Karrenbauer steps up CDU succession planningReuters | Berlin | Updated: 12-02-2020 19:22 IST | Created: 12-02-2020 19:16 IST
Germany's Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer will meet contenders to replace her as Christian Democrat (CDU) leader next week, she told Reuters, forging ahead with the succession process after senior party figures pressed for a swift decision. Stressing that Europe needs a "capable and stable Germany", Kramp-Karrenbauer said Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government were pushing on with preparations for Germany's European Union presidency in the second half of this year.
Kramp-Karrenbauer gave up her ambitions of succeeding Merkel, her mentor, on Monday and their CDU is embarking on choosing a new leader and chancellor candidate for the next federal election due by Oct. 2021. "We will start the personnel selection process next week. I have invited those whose names are currently circulating for one-on-one interviews," Kramp-Karrenbauer said in a television interview on Wednesday.
"At the moment, there are three names circulating in public. Whether more come forward, and what gender they are, we will see," she said, adding that how quickly a successor can be found depends partly on the outcome of her talks next week. Kramp-Karrenbauer's erstwhile rivals for the party leadership - Friedrich Merz and Jens Spahn - and Armin Laschet, premier of Germany's largest state and a Merkel ally, has been widely discussed in German media as most likely contenders.
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