FIRST AIRED: December 7, 2018

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00:00:00
>>
APPLAUSE
FOREIGN]
> Thanking delegates at the CDU Congress for their support and saying her 18 year role as party chief had been an honor.
00:00:22
Her rival was Friedrich Merz. He is a critic of Merkel who questioned the constitutional guarantee of asylum to all, quote, politically persecuted people. After several runoffs, it came down to a narrow vote for the final two. Kramp-Karrenbauer walked away with 517 votes of 999 cast by delegates. She's a former state premier in Saarland where she led a three-way coalition.
00:00:45
She has a reputation for uniting support across the CDU and a talent for striking alliances with other parties. That skill should prove useful in a politically turbulent Germany. Merkel announced her decision to step down as party chief in October. She is remaining as Chancellor in an effort to manage her exit after a series of setbacks.
00:01:04
Merkel has been heavily criticized since her divisive decision in 2015 to keep German borders open to refugees fleeing war in the Middle East. She still has her supporters though.>>
00:01:24
She left her post to a standing ovation from party members that lasted nearly ten minutes and struggled to hold back tears.>>