Armin Laschet, the governor of Germany’s most populous state, emerged victorious Tuesday from a bruising power struggle and became the candidate of Angela Merkel’s center-right bloc to succeed the longtime chancellor in the country’s September election.
Laschet, 60, now faces another big battle: to connect with voters and win over frustrated fellow conservatives who backed his more popular rival, Markus Soeder.
Their Union bloc was the last major political force to nominate a candidate for chancellor in the Sept. 26 parliamentary election. Merkel isn’t seeking a fifth term after nearly 16 years in power.
The race turned into a heated duel after both Laschet, the leader of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, and Soeder, who leads its smaller Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, declared their interest in succeeding Merkel.
Source: Associated Press – GEIR MOULSON