On Friday, the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) sees long-time leader Chancellor Angela Merkel step down as party leader and three candidates to compete for her job as party leader which could lead to major changes in party policy.
Only three candidates within the CDU have put their names forward to succeed Dr Merkel who has led the party for 18 years and has said she will still remain German Chancellor until the end of her term.
AKK is the new leader of Germany’s CDU party — but won’t immediately become the new Chancellor of Germany. Although that would be normal practice in most countries and is even what Dr Merkel said herself what should happen in a statement earlier this year, the present Chancellor doesn’t want to give up and has said she wants to stick at the job until 2021.
This arrangement, it is claimed, would give the country a chance to get used to her successor and for the new party leader to get prepared before the next Federal elections in 2021.
It also, of course, provides Dr Merkel with a useful shield against a political coup — by laying out the path to succession on her own terms years in advance, she spikes the guns of any would-be challengers from the right of the party, who have grown increasingly frustrated at her losing ground to the populist-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
Dr Merkel is also looking to a potentially lucrative future. Harvard announced Friday that the German Chancellor would speak at the University’s spring graduation ceremony in 2019 with The Hill reporting the comments of Harvard President Larry who said: “Over her four terms as Germany’s chancellor, her leadership has done much to shape the course not only of her nation, but also of Europe and the larger world.”