Germany elections: Merkel backs 'bridge-builder' Laschet as successor

Germany elections: Merkel backs 'bridge-builder' Laschet as successor

The outgoing leader strongly endorses her party's candidate Armin Laschet in an unusually tight poll race.


Germany goes to the polls Sunday, and it could hardly be closer. The two camps in the current ruling coalition — the conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) — are almost neck and neck as voters prepare to choose who will replace Angela Merkel as chancellor.

The race to succeed Angela Merkel as German chancellor remains wide open ahead of a national election on Sunday, according to the latest polls.

Poll predictions on Saturday point to the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) holding a small but narrowing lead over Merkel's party, the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

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Merkel has been a symbol of stability in Europe since she took on the role of chancellor in 2005. But after almost 16 years in the top job, she will step down once it becomes clear who her successor will be.

The SPD and CDU, the two largest parties in German politics, have been sharing power under Merkel's fourth term as chancellor.