German CDU to announce results of first-round leadership elections

The German Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) are expected to announce the results of their first round of leadership elections

Tobias Schwarz AFP Getty Images

Photo: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

The German Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) are expected to announce the results of their first round of leadership elections today.

Should no candidate achieve a majority, a second round will be held in January 2022.  Elections come after the party lost the general elections, with the new traffic light coalition now governing Germany. Three candidates are contesting the election: former party chairman Friedrich Merz, former environment minister Norbert Roettgen and the former minister of the chancellery Helge Braun.

Of these candidates, Roettgen and Merz are considered the mostly likely to be elected. Merz is part of the conservative wing of the CDU and his election would signal a shift to the right in both social and economic policy. Roettgen has not clearly positioned himself within the political spectrum but plans to focus on greater youth and female participation in the party. His background as a foreign policy specialist would likely influence the CDU to take a more hawkish stance on China and Russia.

To regain popular support, the CDU is likely to shift rightward on economic policy and rally against the more progressive policies of the new government such as the decriminalization of cannabis.

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