February 10, 2020 / 11:43 AM / 12 days ago

Germany's Merkel regrets protegee's decision to step down

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday she regretted the decision of her protegee Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer not to stand as their party’s candidate for the chancellorship in Germany’s next federal election.

Kramp-Karrenbauer’s announcement earlier on Monday was part of the fall-out from her failure to impose discipline on her party’s branch in the eastern state of Thuringia, which helped into office a local leader backed by the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD).

“I regard this decision with great respect, though I greatly regret it,” Merkel told a news conference. “I can imagine this wasn’t an easy decision for her and I thank her for being prepared to stay on to steer the process of choosing a successor.”

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Paul Carrel

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