Merkel: I am staying out of conservative race to succeed me

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a statement, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Berlin, Germany, April 13, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/Pool

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday she was keeping out of a debate in her conservative bloc over whether Christian Democrat party chairman Armin Laschet or Bavarian premier Markus Soeder should be the candidate to succeed her.

"I wanted to, want to and will stay out of it," Merkel told reporters when asked if she feared the struggle between Laschet and Soeder could damage their conservative alliance so much that they lose the chancellery after a Sept. 26 federal election.

(Reporting by Paul Carrel)

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