The signs point to Mrs Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a provincial politician who has never held national office, becoming Germany's next chancellor. But the woman dubbed "Mini Merkel" came within a whisker of losing her life just weeks ago.
Mrs Kramp-Karrenbauer, or AKK as she is known, was being driven 700km to Berlin overnight to lead fraught talks on forming the next coalition government under Dr Angela Merkel when her car crashed into a truck in Potsdam.
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