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Merkel ally survives party vote, re-elected Bavarian party leader

Europe
16.12.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Nuremburg, Germany (dpa) - After weeks of political uncertainty, Horst Seehofer has been granted another term as chair of Germany‘s Christian Social Union (CSU), receiving 83.7 per cent of the vote during a party congress in Nuremburg.

"This is a good foundation for what awaits us in Munich and Berlin," Seehofer said Saturday.

A close conservative ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel and key player in talks to form a new German government, Seehofer has faced an acrimonious power struggle as CSU leader after the party posted major losses in September‘s general election.

Under pressure to give up at least one of his three political positions - CSU chair, lawmaker in Bavaria‘s state legislature, or state premier - Seehofer chose the premiership and named Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Soeder as his successor for the office, effective from next year.

A rival of Seehofer and critic of Merkel, Soeder had already made a bid for the party‘s leadership, threatening to spark an inter-party war.

Soeder called for a signal of party unity before the vote, which saw Seehofer receive 664 of 793 eligible votes.

The Bavaria-based CSU is a critical ally to Merkel‘s Christian Democrats (CDU). The parties generally cooperate and have formed one conservative bloc during coalition talks.

 

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