When Angela Merkel resigns as chancellor in September, she will leave behind a conservative party that has been a political force with virtually no rivals in Germany for the past 16 years and currently leads the polls by as much as 15 percent.
However, according to the Guardian, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) could choose one of its longest-running political rivals this Saturday as its new leader, a man who represents a return to the pre-Merkel era not only in terms of ideological values but also in leadership style.
Lawyer millionaire Friedrich Merz, who was fired by Merkel from the position of leader of the CDU parliamentary group in 2002, is the favorite among supporters to lead this party in the federal elections on September 28 this year, which will determine who will succeed Merkel as chancellor.
The SPD has nominated Finance Minister Olaf Scholz as its candidate, and the Greens are expected to nominate Robert Habek or Analena Baerbok.
Among the general population, Merz is considered a controversial figure who provokes divided opinions and who is inclined to return to the neoliberal era of the CDU.
It is also believed that there is a greater possibility that he will turn centrist voters loyal to Merkel towards the Greens or the SPD, than would be the case with his rivals from the CDU, Armin Lachet and Norbert Rotgen.
At the online congress of the CDU, which is being held this Friday and Saturday, the future leadership of the party will be decided by 1,001 delegates from local, regional and state branches of the party, who, as the Guardian writes, must adjust their ideological nostalgia to real politics.
Merz is believed to be the main favorite because for many conservatives in Germany he embodies the promise of a clearly identified political stance, and his old-fashioned view of conservatism has earned him admirers not only among experienced delegates but also among younger politicians in the CDU.
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