Gearing Up for the Post-Merkel Era
While Americans are consumed with the upcoming election on November 3, Germans are only starting to look ahead to their election next fall. These two elections will be critically important not only for German-American relations, but for the sustainability of the transatlantic relationship.
Speculating about winners and losers one year in advance is exactly that—speculation. However, the stakes in this German electoral race are already clear. Angela Merkel is retiring after sixteen years; the choices for her successor as the conservative candidate have narrowed down to three men from the CDU, and perhaps one in the CSU. The ultimate selection of the finalist will be dictated by the state of the economy and the status of the pandemic. That decision will be made at a CDU party conference in December when a vote will be taken to elect the new party chairman. Normally the chairman is then proposed as the party’s candidate for chancellor in the next election, but there is a possibility that this time the two positions will be filled by different people.