Top German CDU politician tests positive for Covid-19

Friedrich Merz, a candidate for the chairmanship of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has tested positive for novel coronavirus, the German press agency (dpa) reported Tuesday.

“I will stay at home for quarantine by the end of next week,” said the 64-year-old Merz, former Bundestag faction leader of the Union and one of the three candidates for the chairmanship of the ruling party CDU, and thus likely to succeed Merkel as German chancellor.

The other two candidates are Armin Laschet, minister-president of North Rhine-Westphalia, the state most seriously hit by the novel coronavirus in Germany, and Norbert Roettgen, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag.

The CDU was supposed to hold a national congress at the end of April to elect a successor to the current chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. However, the party announced last week that the congress was postponed due to the outbreak of coronavirus.