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May 4, 2021 - Germany’s Greens are making their first bid for the country’s most prestigious post, with party co-leader Annalena Baerbock seen as a serious contender for the German chancellor in September’s elections.
“I am running for renewal while others represent the status quo,” said Baerbock at the press conference announcing her candidacy on April 19.
The Greens look to be on the brink of power in the country’s “super election year.” A leadership dispute inside Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats party (CDU) finally ended with Armin Laschet, a veteran politician, selected for the top job after Angela Merkel brings the curtain down on her 16-year career as chancellor.
Baerbock has had a rapid rise to power. She leapt to fame after becoming the co-party leader in 2018 after only five years in political office and as a member of parliament in Berlin’s Bundestag.
In government, the Greens helped usher in a nuclear phase-out, and they share power in 11 of Germany’s 16 states.
Baerbock, who took a master’s in international law at the London School of Economics, argues for a tougher German stance towards Russia and China.
Baerbock has called for “increasing the pressure on Russia” over its recent military manoeuvres near Ukraine, adding that ensuring stability between Ukraine and Russia should take priority over Ukraine’s ambition of joining the EU and NATO.
On the controversial Nord Stream 2 Russian gas pipeline across the Baltic seabed to Germany, Baerbock said that political support must be “withdrawn” -- the project will weaken Europe and Germany’s energy security.
Baerbock’s candidacy will be confirmed at the party’s pre-election conference from June 11 to 13. The election takes place on September 26.