Angela Merkel’s CDU to vote on German coalition deal


Germany’s Christian Democrats (CDU) will meet to approve a coalition deal with the Social Democrats (SPD) that will take their leader, Angela Merkel, a step closer to a fourth term as chancellor in Europe’s biggest economy. The last major hurdle to end the five-month political impasse that followed the September election, however, comes next week. On 4 March, the results of a postal vote by SPD members will be announced, and that result is far less certain.

The party conference on Monday follows Merkel’s announcement of her CDU choices for a new, younger cabinet intended to revive the party, which has descended into rows about how to respond to the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). Merkel is to address CDU delegates at the meeting before the vote on the deal, which is expected to go through easily. The conference will also vote on the appointment of her close ally Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as CDU general secretary. Dubbed “mini-Merkel” by some media, the 55-year-old Saarland state premier is widely seen as her preferred successor and shares many of Merkel’s views – but not all.(theguardian)…[+]