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Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian........>

GERMANY: Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) began two
day conference in the eastern city of Leipzig today in what could prove a stormy
- Party secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK) facing a hostile party base,
not satisfied with her performance in the role of Merkel's heir apparent so far.
- Poor performance from CDU in state elections over 2019, combined with anger
over a pension deal with junior coalition partner Social Democrats, has raised
concerns among the conservative wing of the party about AKK's chances of
retaining the Chancellery come the 2021 election.
- AKK's main challenger in the 2018 CDU election, conservative Friedrich Merz,
is set to offer a rebuke to her conference speech in role as party delegate. 
- Grassroots seeking to change CDU rules to allow normal party members to pick
chancellor candidate rather than a small group of party delegates. 
- Likely too early to replace AKK or to pick a chancellor candidate, but if
party cannot use conference as chance to bridge divisions it could portend a
difficult 2020 involving greater internal rancour. 

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