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Back me or sack me, protege of Germany's Merkel tells her party

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Back me or sack me, protege of Germany's Merkel tells her party

By Paul Carrel

 

2019-11-22T143750Z_2_LYNXMPEFAL13W_RTROPTP_4_GERMANY-POLITICS-CDU.JPG

CDU party chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer speaks at the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party congress in Leipzig, Germany, November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

 

LEIPZIG, Germany (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel's would-be successor, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, urged delegates from her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to back her vision for Germany at their party congress on Friday or else "let's end it here and now".

 

CDU delegates gave her an immediate standing ovation and Friedrich Merz, Kramp-Karrenbauer's chief rival for the party chair last year, pledged her his loyalty - drawing a line under months of leadership speculation, for now.

 

Kramp-Karrenbauer, 57, has made several gaffes since taking over as CDU leader last December that have dented her popularity and raised questions about her suitability to be the party's candidate for chancellor when Merkel leaves office.

 

"If you are of the view that the Germany I want is not the Germany you imagine, if you are of the view that the way I want to go with you is not the way you think is the right one, then let's speak today and let's end it today, here, now," Kramp-Karrenbauer said to gasps from delegates.

 

"But, dear friends, if you want this Germany, if you want to take this path together ... then let's roll up our sleeves here and now and make a start," she added, before the seven-minute ovation.

 

Meeting under the banner "Germany's strong middle", the CDU is aiming to reassert itself in the political centre ground, where the Greens have surged.

 

Merkel, 65, has been in power since 2005 and said she will not seek re-election at the next national election, due in 2021. The CDU is trying to boost its image and appeal to hold its position as the leading governing party after she goes.

 

"PAINFUL" SETBACKS

 

In her speech, Kramp-Karrenbauer painted a grim scenario of economic decline for Germany in which its companies cease to register patents in 10 years' time, and young people leave the country complaining of a lack of creativity.

 

"That could happen, but it doesn't have to happen," she said, urging the CDU to back a vision for the future that delivers prosperity "not despite digitalisation but with digitalisation".

 

On Kramp-Karrenbauer's watch, the CDU suffered losses in a May election to the European Parliament and setbacks in regional elections. She described this as "painful" in a speech lasting close to 1-1/2 hours.

 

"It isn't and it hasn't been an easy year," she said.

 

An INSA poll on Monday put support for the CDU at 25%, way down from the 32.9% the party won in the 2017 federal election.

 

Merz has been circling and last month criticised the government's record as "abysmal".

 

But speaking shortly after Kramp-Karrenbauer addressed the conference, he threw his weight behind her and took a swipe at the Social Democratic Party (SPD), junior partners in Merkel's awkward 'grand coalition'.

 

"The Social Democrats are structurally disloyal. We are loyal - to our chairwoman, and to the government," Merz told delegates.

 

(Additional reporting by Andreas Rinke and Alexander Ratz; Editing by Michelle Martin, Frances Kerry and Andrew Heavens)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-11-23

 

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people always complain about politicians

but I think AKK is a fairly OK replacement for Merkel

 

2 wins for German politics in a short span of time,

AKK in and von der Leyen out

 

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3 hours ago, melvinmelvin said:

 

people always complain about politicians

but I think AKK is a fairly OK replacement for Merkel

 

2 wins for German politics in a short span of time,

AKK in and von der Leyen out

 

Neither should have the position they have.

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Well, seen from afar, Frau Merkel seems to have gone to sleep a bit early.

 

 

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On 11/23/2019 at 6:34 AM, melvinmelvin said:

 

people always complain about politicians

but I think AKK is a fairly OK replacement for Merkel

 

2 wins for German politics in a short span of time,

AKK in and von der Leyen out

 

It will be no more than a continuation of what Germany has with Merkel.

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Off-topic post removed. 

 

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1.5 hours speech, 7 minutes applause, that's something we normally see in monkey countries like Cuba, Venezuela, a few African countries, China.

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On 11/26/2019 at 6:34 AM, stevenl said:

1.5 hours speech, 7 minutes applause, that's something we normally see in monkey countries like Cuba, Venezuela, a few African countries, China.

= banana republic. German ppliticians are fighting for position just like they do in aforementioned countries.

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