Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right party has elected Armin Laschet, the pragmatic governor of Germany’s most populous state, as its new leader.
The move sends a signal of continuity months before an election in which voters will decide who becomes the new chancellor.
Mr Laschet defeated Friedrich Merz, a conservative and one-time Merkel rival, at an online convention on Saturday of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
Mr Laschet won 521 votes to Mr Merz’s 466. A third candidate, prominent politician Norbert Roettgen, was eliminated in a first round of voting.
Saturday’s vote isn’t the final word on who will run as the centre-right candidate for chancellor in Germany’s September 26 election, but Mr Laschet will either run for chancellor or will have a big say in who does.