Bundestag election: Friedrich Merz wins duel for CDU direct candidacy in the Sauerland

The former Union parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz is from the CDU was elected as a candidate for the federal election in the Hochsauerlandkreis in a battle vote. An open-air assembly meeting in a football stadium in Arnsberg in the Sauerland region determined the 65-year-old to be the CDU direct candidate in constituency 147 on Saturday. The current CDU MP Patrick Sensburg was left behind. Merz received 327 votes, Sensburg received 126 votes.

The two had previously campaigned for the approval of the delegates in speeches of more than 20 minutes each. While Sensburg mainly referred to his work for the constituency in the past twelve years, Merz criticized the state of his party. He promised the delegates that he would not get a "comfortable and well-adjusted MP".

The Hochsauerlandkreis with its around 260.000 inhabitants is a CDU stronghold. Sensburg has been a member of parliament there for twelve years. In 2009 he succeeded Friedrich Merz, who had not run again after four terms (1994-2009).