Germany’s Angela Merkel re-elected as conservative party leader

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Angela Merkel, who ran unopposed, won 89.5% of delegates’ votes at a congress of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the western city of Essen


Chancellor Angela Merkel won a new two-year term on Tuesday as the leader of Germany’s main conservative party, gaining solid backing after stressing her determination to prevent a repeat of last year’s huge migrant influx.

Merkel, who ran unopposed, won 89.5% of delegates’ votes at a congress of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the western city of Essen. That was short of the 96.7% she won two years ago, but still a strong mandate as she prepares to seek a fourth term as chancellor in next year’s German election.

The vote came after a speech in which she struck a decidedly conservative note, telling members that she wants to stem the influx of migrants and ban face-covering veils where possible.

Germany saw about 890,000 asylum-seekers arrive last year. Many came after Merkel decided in September 2015 to let in migrants who were stuck in Hungary. The numbers have since declined sharply, but Merkel’s “we will cope” approach to the migrant crisis has provoked discord within the CDU, which has seen a string of poor state election results this year.

“A situation like the one in the late summer of 2015 cannot, should not and must not be repeated,” Merkel told delegates.


AP


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