Incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel will exit office after the Federal election on September 26.
Incumbent Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel will exit office after the Federal election on September 26.
Here are the prominent faces who are aiming to succeed Merkel, according to reports.
Armin Laschet, CDU
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc has selected Armin Laschet, a 60-year old leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, to represent the center-right bloc in September’s federal election. Laschet is the premier of Germany's heavily industrial and most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) at present.
Laschet, the son of a mining engineer and who for years defended Germany's powerful coal industry, is understood to be well-connected internationally. He is firmly pro-European Union, a BBC report mentioned.
Annalena Baerbock, Greens
Annalena Baerbock is the only woman in the race to succeed Chancellor Merkel and the Greens' first ever candidate for Chancellor, as previously the party had insisted on a leadership duo.
A former trampoline champion from the northern city of Hanover, Baerbock, 40, has been an elected Bundestag member for the state of Brandenburg since 2013. She has campaigned vigorously on issues concerning the family and the environment.
According to recent polls, Baerbock’s Greens is placed second about five points behind the CDU/CSU, so they are expected to join forces with the conservative parties after September, according to a BBC report.
Olaf Scholz, Social Democratic Party
Like Armin Laschet, Olaf Scholz, 62, is a veteran in German politics and currently serves as the German finance minister and Chancellor Merkel's deputy since March 2018.
Scholz, a Bundestag member since 1998, hails from Osnabrück in north-western Germany and entered politics as a Socialist Youth leader. In SPD ranks he is touted as a conservative and is widely seen as experienced and competent. However, he lacks the support of both voters and party with Greens overtaking the SPD's traditional position as the main centre-left counterweight to the conservatives, according to the BBC report.
Christian Lindner, Free Democratic Party (FDP)
With current polls putting the FDP on 9-11 percent, Christian Lindner is expected to be the party’s Chancellor candidate, having no obvious opposition. The 42-year-old, who was a student of political science at Bonn University, joined the pro-business party in 1995 and became a Bundestag MP in 2009.
Lindner is understood to be a divisive figure and too economically right-wing for centrist mainstream voters, the BBC report said. His reputation took a hit when he was accused of flouncing out of coalition talks in 2017.
Far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD)
Riding a wave of anger over the migrant crisis, Afd became the main opposition party with 91 seats after having been elected to the Bundestag for the first time in 2017.
But, it has since lagged in the polls and has not yet announced a candidate for the post of Chancellor. The anti-establishment party’s co-chairmen Jörg Meuthen and Tino Chrupalla could become the candidate for the apex post, the report mentioned.