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Germany's Merkel backs Laschet as party lags in polls

Polls show her CDU party losing

07 September, 12:00
(ANSA-AFP) - BERLIN, SEP 7 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday endorsed Armin Laschet as the best choice to succeed her, ahead of September 26 elections that polls show her CDU party losing under its gaffe-prone new leader. "It is a special election, not only because for the first time since 1949 no incumbent chancellor is running for re-election," Merkel said in what was likely her last speech in parliament ahead of the vote.

"It is also a special election because it is a decision on the direction of our country in difficult times -- and it is not irrelevant who governs this country," she said. "The best way for our country is a CDU/CSU-led federal government with Armin Laschet as chancellor, because his government stands for stability, reliability, moderation and centrality." Laschet, the chancellor candidate for Merkel's CDU and its Bavarian CSU ally, was long the favourite to replace her as chancellor, but his ratings have plummeted following a series of gaffes. (ANSA-AFP).

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