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Leader of German conservatives Laschet steps down as state premier

German conservative politician Armin Laschet, who was at one point seen as a frontrunner to become the country's next chancellor, formally resigned from his office as premier of North Rhine Westphalia on Monday morning.

Dusseldorf, 25 October 2021 (dpa/MIA) — German conservative politician Armin Laschet, who was at one point seen as a frontrunner to become the country’s next chancellor, formally resigned from his office as premier of North Rhine Westphalia on Monday morning.

The 60-year-old had announced before national elections in September that he would be standing down as state premier, even if he didn’t become Germany’s next chancellor.

Laschet will remain acting state premier until he takes his seat as a member of the incoming German parliament, or Bundestag, in its inaugural session on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, North Rhine Westphalia Transport Minister Hendrik Wuest is expected to be elected the new state premier in a special session of the state parliament.

With Laschet as its candidate for chancellor, the CDU and its Bavarian allies, the Christian Social Union (CSU), achieved a historically bad result in the elections.

They lost out to the Social Democrats, whose candidate Olaf Scholz is negotiating with two other parties to form a center-left government after 16 years under center-right Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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