Leading German oppositionfigure to quit CDU executive

12th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

12 October 2004 , BERLIN - A senior member of Germany's opposition Christian Democrats, Friedrich Merz, is quitting the party's ruling executive committee after losing a power struggle.

12 October 2004

BERLIN - A senior member of Germany's opposition Christian Democrats, Friedrich Merz, is quitting the party's ruling executive committee after losing a power struggle.

Merz, who was forced out as chairman of the Christian Democratic alliance (CDU/CSU) parliamentary bloc by CDU leader Angela Merkel in 2002, plans to stand down from the powerful committee in December. 

Merz, a finance and tax expert who is 48, never disguised his deep disappointment over being replaced by Merkel in Bundestag, or lower chamber.

The CDU/CSU has been declining in opinion polls since last spring but still leads Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats (SPD) with just over 40 percent, compared to almost 30 percent for the SPD.

CDU/CSU leaders are presently badly divided on key issues including moves to reform Germany's costly healthcare system and over whether to launch a mass petition aimed at preventing Turkey from joining the European Union.

DPA

Subject: German news

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