Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Berlin, Germany (4E) – Germany’s Chancellor-to-be, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, argues she is no “mini-Merkel” but a leader that will chart her own path for the good of the country and her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
Kramp-Karrenbauer or AKK as she is also called, was elected to succeed Merkel as leader of the CDU last week. She was CDU general-secretary when she was selected to succeed Merkel as party boss. She is Merkel’s handpicked successor.
Her victory was narrow, however. She won the party contest against corporate lawyer Friedrich Merz with 51.75% of the vote.
Kramp-Karrenbauer, 56, will likely become Germany’s next Chancellor, succeeding Merkel, in 2021.
She is widely known as “mini Merkel” because she hews closely to Merkel’s policies. She supported these policies when she became Saarland’s regional premier, and later party secretary appointed by Merkel.
Kramp-Karrenbauer is said to have a similar style as Merkel: soft-spoken but determined and pragmatic. She is known for her knack for finding political solutions. Here deference to the status quo, however, is bound to irritate the most left-leaning members of the CDU, who want a new leader and new policies adrift from that of Merkel’s.
Kramp-Karrenbauer, however, took pains to tell her party mates she is keen to distinguish herself as a leader who stands on her own.
“I have read a lot about what I am and who I am: ‘mini,’ a copy, simply ‘more of the same.’ Dear delegates, I stand before you as I am and as life made me and I am proud of that,” she said.
“I learned what it is to lead — and above all, learned that leadership is more about being strong on the inside than being loud on the outside,” AKK added.
Kramp-Karrenbauer thanked everyone for their ”support and trust” during her victory speech.
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