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Laschet wins election as head of Germanys biggest political party

The centrist Armin Laschet Saturday won the election to lead the Christian Democratic Union CDU, Germanys large centerright party. This is important because as leader of the biggest political party, Laschet has a good chance to replace Chancellor Merkel at the September national elections and thereby become the de facto leader of Europe with all due respect to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Laschets chances of nomination for Chancellor depend to a large degree on how well his party does in the two state elections on March 14. If the CDU does well then, he may get nominated. If the party does badly though, then theyre much more likely to nominate instead the more popular Markus Söder, head of the CDUs sister party, the Christian Socialist Union CSU. 

Laschet is the prime minister of the German state of North RheinWestphalia, the countrys most populous state. The favorite of Merkel and much of the party establishment, Laschet is expected to continue Merkels policies on fiscal and other domestic issues as well as in European and foreign affairs. He is an ardent proEuropean who grew up near the BelgianDutch border…

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