Angela Merkel's successor chosen: Armin Laschet to be the next leader of the German CDU party
Angela Merkel's governing CDU party has picked one of her key allies as its next leader and potential future Chancellor of Germany.
Armin Laschet was elected after beating lawyer Friedrich Merz and foreign affairs expert Norbert Roettgen.
Laschet is the 59 year-old leader of Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia and is known for his reputation for pragmatism and his loyalty to Merkel, most famously when the chancellor decided to open borders in 2015.
Staying on track with the CDUs history of political centrism, the new head of the party is a sworn European, defender of multiculturalism and believes in the Franco-German alliance.
During his campaign to head the party Laschet positioned himself as the 'continuity' candidate, with Europe's biggest economy heading into an election year with the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.
Merkel, who is planning to stand down after holding four terms, or 16 years, as Chancellor had previously said that Laschet 'has the tools' to take on the role.
As the CDU chairman usually leads the party and its CSU Bavarian sister party to the polls it means that Laschet has a good chance of becoming Germany's next chancellor.