Via Deutsche Welle

The party leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer will not run for chancellor in next year’s elections, a party source said in Berlin on Monday. 

Kramp-Karrenbauer surprised party leadership on Monday by announcing that she will not run for chancellor and that she was stepping down from her position as the head of the party.

Merkel wants Kramp-Karrenbauer to remain Germany’s defense minister, the source said. 

The 57-year-old had been handpicked by Merkel to run as her successor in elections to be held in 2021 after being elected head of the CDU in 2018. 

Since then, AKK, as she is commonly known, has struggled through a series of scandals that have sowed doubt about her ability to lead the country effectively. 

Most recently, a vote in the state legislature in Thuringia last week saw the CDU and the far-right Alternative for Germany Party collectively backing a centrist candidate, a move that was widely perceived as breaking a political taboo against working with extremist parties in Germany. 

More information to follow…

kp/ng (dpa, Reuters)

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