The center-right Union bloc’s candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor in Germany’s election this month is struggling to reverse a sustained downward trend in the polls
BERLIN — The center-right Union bloc’s candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor in this month’s German election announced the naming of eight experts Friday to advise him on how to tackle issues such as climate change and education, as he struggles to reverse a sustained downward trend in the polls.
A survey released by public broadcaster ARD showed the Union bloc receiving 20% of the vote compared to 25% support for the center-left Social Democrats. The poll of 1,337 eligible voters conducted Aug. 30-Sept. 1 had a margin of error of 2-3 percentage points.
The Union bloc’s candidate for the chancellorship, Armin Laschet, has received particularly unfavorable reviews after a series of slips on the campaign trail in recent months.
Speaking at the Berlin headquarters of his Christian Democratic Union party, Laschet said he wants his new team to reflect the Christian-social, liberal and conservative wings of the party.
Several of the experts are familiar faces, including former rival Friedrich Merz, who was tapped to advise Laschet on finance and business matters.
Others, like extremism researcher Peter R. Neumann, have not previously figured prominently in the party.
Half of the team’s members are women.
Germany’s national election takes place on Sept. 26. Merkel said she would not run for a fifth term.
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