Who's who in the new CDU?
The Christian Democrats will have to rebuild without Angela Merkel. Veteran politician Friedrich Merz has taken on the leadership of the conservative party, but a few young players are hoping to reshape the party.
Jens Spahn (born 1980)
The Rhinelander was Health Minister under Chancellor Angela Merkel, which made him one of Germany's most prominent politicians. The openly gay politician has also challenged for the leadership of the Christian Democrats (CDU) before — and lost.
Hendrik Wüst (born 1975)
Hendrik Wüst led his party to victory in regional elections in Germany's most populous state of North-Rhine Westphalia in 2022. Since then Wüst, who had been seen as one of his party's more conservative politicians, is heading a coalition government with the Green Party.
Daniel Günther (born 1973)
As incumbent premier of the state of Schleswig-Holstein, Günther scored a resounding victory in state elections in 2022. Previously he headed a coalition with the business-oriented Free Democrats and the Greens for five years. But now, he opted to govern with only one partner: the ecologist ecologists.
Tilman Kuban (born 1987)
The head of the youth organization since 2019, Kuban studied law and worked as a talent scout for the football club Hannover 96 before entering politics. He represents the CDU in the Bundestag, having won a place via the party's Lower Saxony list. Kuban is considered one of the hard-line conservatives in the CDU, having called for a tougher asylum policy in 2015.
Mario Czaja (born 1975)
In 2021, Czaja beat a Left Party candidate to represent a less advantaged Berlin district in parliament. In 2022 he became CDU Secretary General, and has been on the attack against the Green Party and "wokeness." In 1997, a court ordered Czaja to pay a fine for desertion after he had twice failed to report for duty in the German Armed Forces.
Christina Stumpp (born 1987)
The deputy party secretary hails from an agricultural background and is the mother of one one-year-old child. She joined the federal parliament in 2021 and has said she wants to be a role model for young women.
Silvia Breher (born 1973)
Silvia Breher gained national attention when chancellor candidate Armin Laschet put her in his "Team of the Future" during his election campaign. Her brief: family policy. Since 2019, she has been the CDU's vice chairwoman, succeeding Ursula von der Leyen, now president of the European Commission. Breher has been in the Bundestag since 2017, and specializes in agriculture policy.