Armin Laschet backed by Merkel party in chancellor race

Armin Laschet has won the backing of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party to run as a center-right candidate to succeed her in September’s elections, the BBC reports.

Christian Democrat (CDU) leader Mr Laschet was supported by 77.5% of the party’s executive board members.

His rival Markus Söder, who heads the CDU’s Bavarian sister party the CSU, was supported by 22.5% of the board.

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Mr Söder had earlier said it was up to the CDU to choose who would represent the conservative alliance.

Mrs Merkel, who has been chancellor since 2005, is set to stand down at the 26 September federal elections.

Mr Laschet, 60, was elected CDU leader in January, and is also premier of North Rhine-Westphalia – Germany’s most populous state.

Mr Söder, 54, is premier of Bavaria.

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