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Merkel successor as CDU head in first joint appearance

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Chancellor Angela Merkel and potential successor at the CDU, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer popularly know as AKKChancellor Angela Merkel and potential successor at the CDU, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer popularly know as AKK

(dpa/NAN) The three front-runners to replace Chancellor Angela Merkel as leader of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party are to appear on the same stage for the first time on Friday.

CDU Secretary General, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer; Health Minister, Jens Spahn and former Conservative Parliamentary Bloc Leader, Friedrich Merz, are due to meet the party’s women’s wing in Berlin.

The three are due to appear at various regional party gatherings ahead of a national party conference in the n

Northern port city of Hamburg where the new leader will be chosen on Dec. 7.

Merkel decided to give up the reins of the party she has led since 2000 following humiliating results for her conservative bloc in regional elections and plummeting opinion poll ratings.

The most recent polls of CDU members have Kramp-Karrenbauer out in front on 35 per cent, slightly ahead of Merz on 33 per cent, with Spahn trailing way behind on just seven per cent.

Kramp-Karrenbauer called on Friday for a new “style’’ in the party and a greater say for the grassroots.

Members expected that “at least the big, fundamental issues would first be taken up, discussed and decided in the party before they would be translated into government action,” she said on public radio on Friday.

Spahn said he expects a harmonious cooperation with Merkel in the event of his election.

“I would work with her as chairman as trustfully as before. There’s no doubt about it, not with me and not with her,” Spahn told the Funke Media Group on Friday.

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