The head of the North Rhine-Westphalia Government, Armin Laschet, is the new leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The governor of the most populous region in Germany was elected this Saturday, in congress, succeeding Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and positioning himself as a potential candidate for chancellor in the elections to be held in September this year.
The new leader of the CDU was elected in congress, with the vote of 1.001 party delegates. Armin Laschet won, in a second round against the liberal and millionaire lawyer Friedrich Merz (appointed as a favorite in the succession of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in the leadership of the party), with more than half the votes (521). Friedrich Merz got 466. Norbert Röttegen, foreign policy expert, was also in the race.
With this victory, Armin Laschet puts himself on the path to run as a conservative party candidate for chancellor in the September federal elections. This is because the president of the CDU is usually (although not always) the candidate for chancellor by the CDU and the Bavarian brother party, the Christian Social Union (CSU).
Armin Laschet, 59, was a journalist and a member of the German Parliament of the European Parliament, before entering German regional politics in the northwest region of the country.