Armin Lachet is the new chairman of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Germany. These are the results of the second round of voting at the CDU congress, which is being broadcast live by N24 television.
“Armin Lachette received 521 votes and Friedrich Merz 466. Thus, Armin Lachet was elected, he received an absolute majority of votes,” said a CDU spokesman.
Former Environment Minister and head of the Bundestag foreign policy committee Norbert Röttgen was also a contender for the position of chairman, but his candidacy was rejected after the first round.
Lachet is the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, one of the largest (along with Bavaria) and most populous states in Germany. He is the only candidate with experience in governing an entire region and heads the largest CDU county association.
Lachette has been called a centrist – that is, he is ready for political cooperation with the more left-wing forces, in particular with the Social Democrats, who are part of the current coalition government. It is believed that Lachet is ideologically closest to Angela Merkel and can continue her party policy. In addition, in the current race, he acts as a “base candidate,” that is, many rank-and-file members of the CDU would like to see him as party leader.
The new head of the CDU is also expected to become the CDU/CSU alliance’s candidate for German chancellor in the September elections to the Bundestag and to succeed Merkel as head of the German government.