March 17, 2020 / 1:47 PM / 17 days ago

German CDU leadership contender Merz has coronavirus - spokesman

FILE PHOTO: Friedrich Merz of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) speaks during the traditional Ash Wednesday party meeting in the Thuringian city of Apolda, Germany, February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Mang

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s Friedrich Merz, one of the most likely candidates to take over the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), has tested positive for coronavirus.

A spokesman for Merz on Tuesday confirmed a report first published by the dpa news agency which quoted him as saying: “A test carried out on Sunday is positive. I will stay at home in quarantine until the end of next week.”

The party has postponed a conference planned for late April to pick a new leader after Merkel protege Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said last month she would stand down.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Joseph Nasr

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