Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hand-picked successor, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, has abruptly announced her intention to quit as party leader. Germany’s ruling party, the Christian Democratic Union, has been scandalized after some of its local politicians in the state of Thuringia voted with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party to install a regional leader. Kramp-Karrenbauer had given clear orders not to collaborate with the AfD at any level. The race to succeed Merkel as German leader has now been thrown wide open—Kramp-Karrenbauer was chosen by the chancellor to keep the party out of the hands of a more conservative faction within the CDU but she failed to stamp her authority on the party. According to Bloomberg News, Kramp-Karrenbauer told party colleagues at a meeting in Berlin that a key reason for her decision to quit is the “unclear relationship” between parts of the CDU and the far-right AfD and the anti-capitalist Left party.
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