BERLIN (AP) – On Sunday, Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her full support for Armin Laschet, the candidate of the center-right Union bloc, who hopes to succeed her as Chancellor in the Bundestag election this month.
Merkel and Laschet visited the city of Hagen and another region in North Rhine-Westphalia on Sunday that was badly damaged by the floods in July. Laschet is also the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous western state.
“Armin Laschet leads this largest state in Germany very successfully,” Merkel told reporters in Hagen. “Anyone who can lead such a state can also lead Germany as Chancellor.”
The general election in Germany will take place on September 26th. Merkel, who led the Union bloc to four election victories, said in 2018 that she would not seek another term in office. Since 2005 she has presided over the largest economy in the European Union.
Laschet, who is also chairman of the CDU, lags behind the center-left Social Democrats in the polls. It has received particularly negative reviews after a series of slips in the election campaign in recent months.
The relative popularity of their candidate, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, who is also Vice Chancellor in Merkel’s coalition government, contributes to the election success of the Social Democrats.
At a press conference with Laschet over the next three weeks, Merkel said “that full commitment is required at all levels, both from the government and from the activists”.
“There are many things that we have to do at the same time: there is the coronavirus, the floods and then there is still the choice,” said Merkel and added: “I think that we can do it well together – and Armin Laschet knows that he has my support. “
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