November 9, 2018 / 7:25 AM / 11 days ago

German conservatives back Merkel protege for new CDU leader: poll

FILE PHOTO: Chancellor Angela Merkel's protege, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, addresses a news conference to promote her candidacy to succeed the German leader as chief of their conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) in Berlin, Germany, November 7, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - Some 35 percent of members of the two conservative parties in Germany’s ruling coalition favor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a protege of Chancellor Angela Merkel, to replace her as leader of the Christian Democrats (CDU), a poll showed on Friday.

Some 33 percent backed businessman Friedrich Merz while 7 percent favored Health Minister Jens Spahn, according to the poll of 1,200 people that Mannheim-based Forschungsgruppe Wahlen carried out for broadcaster ZDF between Nov. 6 and 8.

It is up to delegates of the CDU party to elect their new leader - rather than the entire conservative bloc, of which the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) is also part - but opinions among the conservatives are likely to influence how delegates vote, ZDF said.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Joseph Nasr

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