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Merkel’s Succession Plan Unravels as Protégée Ends Leadership Bid

BERLIN—German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s succession plan was upended Monday when the head of her conservative party said she wouldn’t run for the chancellery and would step down as party leader later this year.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer defeated rivals to become chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union with the backing of Ms. Merkel in late 2018 but her tenure has been marred by criticism in the media, weakening opinion-poll results and electoral setbacks.

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