Germany’s SPD officially names Olaf Scholz as chancellor candidate

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Germany’s center-left Social Democrats (SPD) voted on Sunday for the current Finance Minister Olaf Scholz to be their choice for chancellor should they win the September general election.

The former mayor of Hamburg won 96.2% of the votes from the almost 600 SPD delegates who were taking part in this weekend’s online party conference.

Sunday’s result was far from a surprise, as the party leadership had already nominated him for the candidacy — more than a year before the election.

The top three parties, according to polls, have now all officially decided on their candidates.

The conservative bloc made up of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) picked state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet as their replacement for current Chancellor Angela Merkel. The CDU/CSU are currently in a governing coalition with the SPD.

The SPD was able to avoid the drawn-out process that the conservatives succumbed to, but are now also facing the increasingly popular Green party and its recently chosen chancellor candidate, Annalena Baerbock.

Photo: German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz arrives for a cabinet meeting at the German chancellery in Berlin, Germany. EPA-EFE/FELIPE TRUEBA / POOL

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