German conservatives urge Merkel to shift to the right

Several senior German conservatives called on Saturday for their party to shift to the right to win back voters, throwing down the gauntlet to Chancellor Angela Merkel before she announces her choice of cabinet ministers on Sunday.

The Christian Democrats (CDU) vote at a party meeting on Monday on whether to back a coalition deal with the Social Democrats (SPD), which would hand Merkel a fourth term at the top of a grand coalition and keep them in office for another four years. SPD members also have to vote on the agreement.

Although the CDU is widely expected to back the deal – and approve Merkel’s ally, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, as CDU general secretary – there are rumblings among conservatives that the party needs fresh blood and a new political direction.