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Tough 'Mini Merkel' set for major achievements

Mrs Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a CDU board meeting in Berlin last year. Last Monday, Dr Merkel nominated Mrs Kramp-Karrenbauer as the CDU's secretary-general. The premier of the south-western border state of Saa
Mrs Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a CDU board meeting in Berlin last year. Last Monday, Dr Merkel nominated Mrs Kramp-Karrenbauer as the CDU's secretary-general. The premier of the south-western border state of Saarland now has a foot in the door of the Chancellery despite never having held office at the federal level.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

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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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 26, 2018, with the headline 'Tough 'Mini Merkel' set for major achievements'. Print Edition | Subscribe