Merkel has a new favorite. Who could take over the leadership of the CDU, after the historic failure of the elections

The resigning head of the German Chancellery, Helge Braun, will run for the leadership of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), local media announced.

Braun’s candidacy will not be official until it is announced on Friday in front of the CDU branch in his native Hesse, but he is the first to step forward for the leadership position and may have taken those by surprise. who later entered the race. So far, Braun has not been considered a candidate, unlike public figures whose names have been circulating for weeks, such as conservative veteran Friedrich Merz or foreign policy expert Norbert Röttgen.

Röttgen, who ran unsuccessfully for the CDU leadership earlier this year, is scheduled to hold a press conference on his candidacy on Friday.

The resigning Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, declared on Wednesday that he will not run for the CDU leadership, putting an end to the rumors regarding a candidacy.

Braun, 49, is considered a close ally of resigning Chancellor Angela Merkel and has been head of the Chancellery since 2018. Although he lost his direct mandate in the September 26 general election in favor of Social Democrat Felix Döring, in At the age of 30, Braun remains a member of the German parliament due to his inclusion on a list of the CDU party, according to the proportional electoral rules of this country.

The CDU is set to elect its second leader within a year after the party’s current leader, Armin Laschet, lost the autumn general election to Olaf Scholz of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD). Laschet had previously defeated Merz and Röttgen in a competition for the CDU leadership in January.

Photo: Helge Braun

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