Merkel re-elected as CDU party leader with big majority

Chancellor Angela Merkel was re-elected as leader of the CDU at the party conference on Tuesday, meaning she will be their Chancellor candidate at next year's election.

Merkel re-elected as CDU party leader with big majority
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Merkel received 89.5 percent of the votes from the roughly 1,000 delegates who were present at the conference in Essen, western Germany, according to German media.

The vote secures her a further two years as leader of the party.

It was the ninth time that Merkel had stood for leadership of the conservative party, which she has led for almost 17 years.

While the vote share may sound impressive, it was the second worst score she has achieved and a significant drop from 2014 when 96.7 percent of delegates voted for her, and a further drop from 2012 when she won an overwhelming 97.9 percent, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

There was no question that she would win the vote, but before the ballot, national media suggested that any score below 90 percent would be a slap in the face. Merkel's open-door refugee policy has caused serious tension within the party and contributed to the CDU suffering shock losses in several state elections in 2016.

Announcing her decision to run again in late November, Merkel said she had intensely considered whether she should run a fourth term as Chancellor in next autumn's national election.
She claimed she was convinced by CDU members who told her “you must, you must, you must do it”.
In her party speech on Tuesday, she echoed this sentiment telling delegates “you must, you must, you must help.”

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