Armin Laschet elected head of Merkel’s CDU party

Germany’s governing CDU party has chosen Armin Laschet as its new party leader. Party members elected Laschet in an online convention. He is now in a strong position to become the Christian conservatives’ candidate in general elections held later this year, since Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she would not run again. The 59 year-old beat rivals Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen to the top spot. Laschet is state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state. He is considered a moderate, and has vowed to continue Merkel’s policy of keeping the CDU in the political center. Laschet replaces Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who took over the party leadership from Merkel in 2018.