Merkel's party chooses successor to longtime German leader

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Merkel's party chooses successor to longtime German leader

FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018 file photo Friedrich Merz, former CDU faction leader, left, Germany's Health Minister Jens Spahn, center, and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, General Secretary of the German Christian Democratic Union, all members of the German Christian Democratic Party, hold numbers for the speech order to present their concepts as candidates for the CDU chairmanship in Seebach, central Germany. Three high-profile contenders are vying to lead Angela Merkel's party as the longtime German chancellor makes way after 18 years for a successor who could shape the European Union's most populous country for the next generation. The center-right Christian Democratic Union will elect on Friday a new chairman or chairwoman, who will be the favorite to run for chancellor in Germany's next election. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, file)
FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 file photo German Chancellor and party chairwoman Angela Merkel waves during the party convention of the Christian Democratic Union CDU in Berlin, Germany. Three high-profile contenders are vying to lead Angela Merkel's party as the longtime German chancellor makes way after 18 years for a successor who could shape the European Union's most populous country for the next generation. The center-right Christian Democratic Union will elect on Friday a new chairman or chairwoman, who will be the favorite to run for chancellor in Germany's next election. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)
FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 19, 2018 file photo The governor of German Saarland state and designated CDU Secretary General, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, addresses a news conference after a party's leaders meeting in Berlin, Germany. The CDU's general secretary since February, Kramp-Karrenbauer _ often called 'AKK' _ is a Merkel ally and the closest to her centrist stance. She touts her own lengthy experience in regional government, which saw her become the first woman to become a state's interior minister, or top security official, and serve as governor of western Saarland state. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 file photo Friedrich Merz, member of the German Christian Democratic Party, addresses the media during a press conference in Berlin, Germany. After longtime German chancellor Angela Merkel makes way for a successor who could shape the European Union's most populous country for the next generation Merz is seeking a spectacular comeback after more than a decade away from front-line politics. He stands for a more conservative and business-friendly approach. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 photo German Health Minister Jens Spahn arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin. After longtime German chancellor Angela Merkel makes way for a successor who could shape the European Union's most populous country for the next generation Spahn has made migration a focus, calling it the "elephant in the room." He has said that security is a key issue, and argued that "not everything is good again" on migration issues. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)

Merkel's party chooses successor to longtime German leader

FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018 file photo Friedrich Merz, former CDU faction leader, left, Germany's Health Minister Jens Spahn, center, and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, General Secretary of the German Christian Democratic Union, all members of the German Christian Democratic Party, hold numbers for the speech order to present their concepts as candidates for the CDU chairmanship in Seebach, central Germany. Three high-profile contenders are vying to lead Angela Merkel's party as the longtime German chancellor makes way after 18 years for a successor who could shape the European Union's most populous country for the next generation. The center-right Christian Democratic Union will elect on Friday a new chairman or chairwoman, who will be the favorite to run for chancellor in Germany's next election. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, file)
FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 file photo German Chancellor and party chairwoman Angela Merkel waves during the party convention of the Christian Democratic Union CDU in Berlin, Germany. Three high-profile contenders are vying to lead Angela Merkel's party as the longtime German chancellor makes way after 18 years for a successor who could shape the European Union's most populous country for the next generation. The center-right Christian Democratic Union will elect on Friday a new chairman or chairwoman, who will be the favorite to run for chancellor in Germany's next election. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)
FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 19, 2018 file photo The governor of German Saarland state and designated CDU Secretary General, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, addresses a news conference after a party's leaders meeting in Berlin, Germany. The CDU's general secretary since February, Kramp-Karrenbauer _ often called 'AKK' _ is a Merkel ally and the closest to her centrist stance. She touts her own lengthy experience in regional government, which saw her become the first woman to become a state's interior minister, or top security official, and serve as governor of western Saarland state. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 file photo Friedrich Merz, member of the German Christian Democratic Party, addresses the media during a press conference in Berlin, Germany. After longtime German chancellor Angela Merkel makes way for a successor who could shape the European Union's most populous country for the next generation Merz is seeking a spectacular comeback after more than a decade away from front-line politics. He stands for a more conservative and business-friendly approach. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 photo German Health Minister Jens Spahn arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin. After longtime German chancellor Angela Merkel makes way for a successor who could shape the European Union's most populous country for the next generation Spahn has made migration a focus, calling it the "elephant in the room." He has said that security is a key issue, and argued that "not everything is good again" on migration issues. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)